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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The second most common neuro-degenerative disease in the country behind Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease affects millions of Americans. While there is no cure, it is possible to live a full life with the disease.
Commonly known for its movement or motor-related symptoms, such as tremors, abnormally slow movements, shaking, lack of facial expression, involuntary movements or freezing, Parkinson’s disease also has non-motor symptoms like apathy, depression, sleep behavior disorders, loss of sense of smell and cognitive impairment.
One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with Parkinson’s is that everyone’s disease progresses differently. Symptoms can develop slowly over years and the order in which they appear can vary from person to person. That often makes it hard to diagnose, which can be very frustrating. Symptoms to be aware of include slowness of movement and rigidity; difficulty with balance, swallowing, chewing, and speaking; cognitive impairment and dementia; and mood disorders.
The good news is that there are ways to slow the progression of Parkinson’s and preserve a high quality of life. As a gerontologist — someone who specializes in aging — and owner of a non-medical homecare company, I’ve made it a point to help spread awareness of Parkinson’s and share ways to help people with Parkinson’s. SYNERGY Homecare has an educational partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation and we are fortunate to have access to tremendous information and resources.
One of the most important things to know is that exercise and activity are key. According to the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s disease through the foundation’s Centers of Excellence network, increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours a week can help slow decline in quality of life.
People living with Parkinson’s disease should also keep up with their therapy regiments. Caregivers can help them stick to prescribed physical therapy exercises, occupational therapy, recommended daily living modifications and speech exercises. This can include gait and balance training, resistance training and regular exercise.
Having a physical as well as emotional support system can make a huge difference for people with Parkinson’s. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, people typically require emotional support more than anything else as they get a handle on having a progressive disease.
In order to preserve a high quality of life, it’s important to let someone with Parkinson’s disease maintain their independence for as long as possible. As the disease progresses, some activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating and bathing, may require workarounds and there are multiple ideas and suggestions for adaptations on the Parkinson’s Foundation’s website such as:
• Tremors can make walking difficult
• Take care of the home, clear things off the floors, arrange furniture in a way that promotes easy access and safety
• Encourage doctor recommended exercises as well as facial exercises
• Activities like singing, dancing, or reading aloud
• Daily hygiene is greatly affected by hand tremors
• Opt for an electric toothbrush over a manual one
• Opt for an electric razor over a manual one
• If balance is off, try sitting down while brushing or shaving.
• Stand-in showers are much easier to access than tubs
• Shower stools also help, especially when unsteady
• Opt for clothes that are easier to put on
• Elastic waistbands
• Dress the side most affected first
• Avoid button-ups and laces
Ensuring a high quality of life with Parkinson’s is possible thanks to a complementary approach that includes medications, regular activity and modifications for activities of daily living. If you have any questions, please call Synergy HomeCare - Boulder at 303-465-4663.
In the realm of senior therapy, the integration of music and arts stands out as a transformative approach to holistic well-being. Recent studies highlight the profound cognitive benefits that music can offer to seniors, from stimulating memory recall to enhancing overall cognitive function. Whether through familiar melodies that evoke cherished memories or the joy of learning a new instrument, music becomes a powerful tool for self-expression and connection, particularly for seniors facing cognitive decline. Simultaneously, engaging in visual and performing arts provides an avenue for creative expression, offering a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The emotional impact of these creative endeavors is equally significant, alleviating feelings of loneliness and fostering a sense of community through shared experiences in choir singing or art classes.In essence, the incorporation of music and arts into senior therapy transcends mere entertainment, becoming a vital aspect of promoting the overall well-being of older individuals. By tapping into the creative spirit, seniors can find avenues for cognitive stimulation, emotional connection, and a renewed sense of purpose. As society recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to senior care, the role of music and arts in therapeutic practices emerges as a valuable and enriching endeavor for the aging population, contributing to a fulfilling and vibrant later life.
In a world bustling with new experiences and breathtaking landscapes, age should never be a barrier to wanderlust. Senior travel, often overlooked, is a realm of endless possibilities and enriching encounters. Ageless Adventures is a celebration of this spirit, inviting seniors from all walks of life to embark on transformative journeys across the globe. As the golden years gracefully unfold, theres a growing recognition that travel is not just for the young and restless; its a tapestry of discovery, connecting seniors with the world's diverse cultures, cuisines, and captivating histories. Imagine strolling through the vibrant streets of Kyoto, savoring the aroma of freshly brewed Italian coffee in Rome, or marveling at the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu. These are not mere dreams; they are the vivid realities woven into the fabric of senior travel.Ageless Adventures strives to make these dreams tangible. Through meticulously curated itineraries, seniors are guided to explore destinations tailored to their interests and pace. Whether its delving into the artistry of Parisian museums or finding solace amidst the serene beaches of Bali, every adventure is designed to nurture the soul and spark curiosity. Beyond the breathtaking scenery, these journeys foster a sense of community, where like-minded individuals forge lifelong friendships, share laughter, and create cherished memories. Traveling, after all, is not merely about the places visited; its about the stories shared, the perspectives gained, and the moments that take your breath away. Ageless Adventures invites seniors to step into a world where age is but a number, and every passport stamp is a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration. So, let the adventure begin, and let the world be your timeless playground.
Creating a safe and comfortable living environment is essential for seniors who wish to age in place gracefully. With thoughtful design and practical adjustments, homes can be transformed into senior-friendly spaces that enhance independence and overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore some valuable tips and design ideas to help you create a home that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for seniors, allowing them to maintain their independence and dignity.1. Remove Hazards: Start by eliminating potential hazards in the home, such as loose rugs, cluttered walkways, and low-hanging objects. Clear pathways ensure easy movement, reducing the risk of trips and falls.2. Optimize Lighting: Good lighting is crucial for seniors with reduced vision. Install bright LED lights in key areas like hallways, staircases, and entrances. Consider motion-activated lights to enhance safety during nighttime movement.3. Bathroom Modifications: Modify bathrooms with grab bars near the toilet and shower to provide support. Install a raised toilet seat and a non-slip bath mat to prevent slips. Consider a walk-in shower with a bench and handheld showerhead for added convenience.4. Kitchen Adaptations: Lower countertops and cabinets to a comfortable height, allowing seniors to access items without straining. Install pull-out shelves and easy-to-grasp handles on cabinets and drawers. Consider appliances with large, easy-to-read controls.5. Bedroom Comfort: Choose a comfortable mattress and install a nightlight to aid in nighttime navigation. Position the bed at an accessible height, allowing seniors to sit and stand with ease. Install sturdy handrails if necessary.6. Flooring: Opt for non-slip flooring materials, such as cork, rubber, or textured tiles. These surfaces provide traction and reduce the risk of slipping. Additionally, choose carpets with low pile to prevent tripping.7. Home Security: Invest in a home security system that includes medical alert features. This ensures that help is just a button press away in case of emergencies, providing peace of mind for both seniors and their caregivers.8. Technology Integration: Embrace smart home technology, including voice-activated assistants and remote-controlled devices. These innovations enhance convenience and enable seniors to control various aspects of their home environment effortlessly.9. Outdoor Considerations: Create a safe outdoor space with well-maintained pathways, non-slip surfaces, and adequate lighting. Install handrails on stairs and ramps, and consider raised garden beds for seniors who enjoy gardening without bending or kneeling.10. Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular home maintenance checks to ensure that all safety features are in good working condition. This includes checking grab bars, handrails, and other modifications for stability and durability.Designing a senior-friendly home is a thoughtful and meaningful process that greatly impacts the quality of life for aging individuals. By implementing these practical tips and design ideas, you can create a space that not only meets the physical needs of seniors but also promotes their emotional well-being and independence. With the right adjustments, seniors can continue to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, ensuring a happy and fulfilling life as they age in place.
At SYNERGY HomeCare, "CARE" stands for Coordinated And Responsive Engagement. We provide an integrated total solution to meeting your specific care needs. Whether for family members, friends or for yourself, you can be assured of the very best and highest quality care available. As loved ones experience the physical and emotional effects of aging, such as memory-related disorders (dementia and Alzheimers), chronic or acute illness or physical injury; our highly skilled caregivers are there to provide safety, comfort, and dignified assistance. We provide peace of mind and ensure that life at home will continue to be as independent and safe as possible.Call us now, at (303)465-HOME, to learn how our comprehensive CARE approach can help those with supportive needs, continue to live in their own home for as long as they like.