National Parkinson’s Awareness Month is an excellent time to stop and consider home health care services benefits as Parkinson’s disease advances. There’s no cure, but therapies and medications can slow the progression and help control the symptoms.
Parkinson’s is caused by a decline in dopamine within the brain. Early symptoms include stiffness in the legs and arms, hand and finger tremors, loss of smell, and shrinking handwriting.
As the disease advances, mobility and speech are greatly affected. Eventually, your mom or dad may require a wheelchair. With nursing care, your mom or dad accesses vital therapies and services without having to leave the house.
At-Home Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapies
One of the most significant advantages of home health care is that you can have therapists come to your parent’s home. It helps you avoid needing to help your mom or dad get to the car, sit down, buckle a seatbelt, and get from your car into the medical offices.
Occupational therapists help your mom or dad learn new ways to do daily activities like button a shirt, put on shoes, or use a fork and spoon. Speech therapies help maintain speech skills. Physical therapists work on balance, stamina, and muscle strength.
Other Ways Home Health Care Nurses Help Out
Because stiffness and a shuffling gait are standard with Parkinson’s, the fall risk increases as mobility decreases. If your mom or dad falls, the chances of an injury are significant. Nurses can help with wound care and both IV and injected medications.
Diet is also important. Your parent needs to be focusing on foods that benefit the body. Whole grains, fresh vegetables, and lean protein are all keys to helping manage the disease. You can have a dietitian come to your parent’s home and teach the family how to cook meals that support your parent’s health.
When Should You Arrange Home Health Care?
Talk to your parent’s doctor. You’ll have the best input on when it’s the right time to arrange home services. It also gives you a clear picture of the disease’s progression over the next weeks and months.
When Parkinson’s disease progresses to the later stages, make sure supportive services from speech, occupational, and physical therapists are available. Ask about arranging to have home health care nurses also help with medication administration if needed. Once you know the services that the doctor recommends, call to schedule nurses.