You can’t always be there. But we can.
When caring for an elderly adult who is living with Parkinsons disease, you will need to manage a wide variety of symptoms and challenges in order to support their health and well-being. While There are many issues you likely expect, there are some you may not immediately link to the disease.
One is changes in their weight.
Even if you do consider the impact a serious illness could have on weight, it is likely you immediately think of weight loss, but could it actually cause the reverse? For some, PD can lead to weight gain.
Gaining weight during the progression of Parkinsons disease in the elderly is most frequently caused by the medications or treatments and therapies your senior might use as part of their care for the disease.
One such treatment is deep brain stimulation. This is a surgical approach designed to relieve symptoms, but this can frequently lead to weight gain. Other common medications are designed to work with dopamine in the brain to manage motor symptoms. Though they can be very effective, they can also lead to side effects such as compulsive eating, and an unhealthy Parkinsons diet.
If your aging parent is gaining weight as they progress through Parkinsons disease, bring it to the attention of their doctor. They can evaluate your parent’s health and treatments, and determine what may be the source of this weight gain so they can help your parent overcome the issues and work toward achieving and maintaining a healthier weight.
This can include eating a balanced, healthy, balanced diet, getting more physical exercise on a regular basis, and potentially modifying medication approaches according to doctor instructions to help with compulsions potentially leading to further weight gain. It is very important to follow instructions carefully, and not to make any changes not instructed by the doctor.
Meal preparation is just one way a home health care provider can be a valuable source of support and care for your parent as they live with Parkinsons disease in the elderly. A home health care services provider can help your parent to understand the dietary guidelines and instructions given to them by their doctor, evaluate their likes and dislikes, and help them to create a Parkinsons Diet that integrates meals and snacks that align with both.
They can then prepare healthy and satisfying meals and snacks to ensure your aging parents gets the nutrition they need. This can not only help them to cope with the limitations caused by their Parkinsons disease, but can also help them it to stay healthier and stronger throughout their later years.