6 Things Doctors May Not Tell You about Parkinson’s

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Families are often left to figure out how to best manage their senior loved ones’ symptoms after a Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis. While your loved one’s medical team will be your best source of information, there are some things you should know that the doctor may not tell you in the beginning. 

1. Medication Side Effects Can Be Worse than the Symptoms

Parkinson’s medications are often designed to reduce tremors and muscle rigidity, but they can also cause side effects that are worse than the symptoms. It’s important to be prepared for side effects such as twitching, decreased appetite, and behavioral changes so you can have a plan in place to manage them. 

Many seniors with Parkinson’s disease can live at home, but they may need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Green Valley, AZ, Embrace In-Home Care is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

2. It Takes Time to Find the Right Treatment

Since Parkinson’s symptoms vary by person, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. It may take trying several different medications and/or therapies before your loved one finds relief. For this reason, you’ll need to communicate with your loved one’s medical team about both the positive and negative changes that occur with each new treatment. 

3. Exercise Is Important

Too often, physicians focus solely on providing medication to manage symptoms. However, many seniors with PD find that exercise helps them control muscle movements and retain strength. An hour of exercise two to four times a week seems to be the sweet spot for effectively managing symptoms without becoming overexerted. 

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with exercise and everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Embrace In-Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

4. Parkinson’s Affects More than Just Motor Skills

Tremors and rigidity may be hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s, but many seniors also experience non-motor effects from the condition as well. Your loved one may experience problems with speech, constipation, and mood changes. Knowing these could be due to Parkinson’s will help you both find better management strategies. 

5. Support Groups Are Valuable Resources

It’s important to expand your loved one’s support network to include others beyond his or her medical team and immediate family. Joining a support group will put your loved one in touch with people who share similar emotions and challenges. Not only will this provide moral support, but it can also yield valuable insight into new treatment methods. 

6. It’s Important to Look Ahead

Parkinson’s is a progressive condition that tends to increase in severity over time. Planning for the future allows seniors to feel a sense of control over their long-term care. While no one can predict the future, making decisions now about living arrangements and whether or not to hire a caregiver will make things easier for everyone if your loved one’s symptoms begin to interfere with his or her independence. 

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, especially in its final stages. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Embrace In-Home Care, a leading provider of homecare Green Valley, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Call us today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.


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