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Non-Medical Treatments for Parkinson’s

By Erik Gans, 9:00 am on

If your elderly loved one has Parkinson’s disease, it’s an ongoing challenge to find treatments to help manage a condition that’s likely to present different symptoms as the disease progresses. By considering non-medical treatments for Parkinson’s along with doctor-recommended medical remedies, you can ease your loved one’s symptoms without adding to the list of medications they already take everyday and reduce or eliminate the risk of potential side effects. If you provide home care in Fairfield for a senior loved one with PD, here are a few natural treatments worth a try.

Exercise

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, exercise can be an effective way to counter the effects Parkinson’s can have on movement (slowed gait, difficulty with balance). Fairfield Parkinson’s care professionals note, however, it’s important for seniors to perform exercises while under supervision. Commonly recommended exercises include:

• Swimming, water aerobics (water-based exercises ease pressure on muscles)
• Tai chi, yoga (or similar exercises with slower, controlled movements)
• Jaw stretches, exaggerated lip movements (to help with chewing and speaking)

Diet

A dietician can help you put together a diet specific to your loved one’s nutritional needs. However, the following foods tend to be beneficial for seniors with or without Parkinson’s disease:

• High-fiber foods (cooked beans, vegetables, whole-grains)
• More water and fewer (or no) sugary drinks
• Fresh fruit

Music/Art Therapy

Relaxation can help your loved one improve his or her mood, which can make them more responsive to other treatments they may be undergoing. Music therapy that involves singing has the added benefit of strengthening throat muscles.

Pet Therapy

Emotional health is just as important as physical health when dealing with a condition like Parkinson’s. Pet therapy gives your loved one something to focus on besides his or her condition. Interacting with a pet can also help improve flexibility and dexterity.

Positive Attitude

Numerous studies suggest that maintaining a positive attitude plays a role in patient wellness. The same is true for conditions like Parkinson’s. If your loved one seems depressed or has trouble coping with his or her condition, consider counseling to help them develop a healthy way to deal with their feelings.

These treatments are meant to enhance, not replace, any existing medical treatments your loved one may already be receiving to treat Parkinson’s. Check with your loved one’s doctor before turning to any non-medical treatments to make sure such treatments are appropriate for their stage of the disease.

If Parkinson’s is making everyday living challenging for your senior loved one, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in and hourly home care in Fairfield, ensuring seniors have the help the need to live a happy, healthy, and safe lifestyle in the comfort of home. All care plans are flexible and fully customizable, our Care Managers are on-call 24/7, and we stand behind all of our care services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more, call 203-955-1915 and request a free in-home consultation.