According to estimates from the Australian Government Department of Health, more than 100,000 people in Australia are living with Parkinson’s disease (PD). This progressive nervous system disorder largely affects movement, although cognitive functions can be impacted as well. For this reason, people with this condition often benefit from a combination of therapies. Here are five specific therapy ideas that could help your senior loved one maintain a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s.
1. Active Physical Therapy
The shuffling movements associated with Parkinson’s disease may be minimised with active physical therapy, which simply refers to any type of therapeutic physical exercise that involves active participation. Seniors with Parkinson’s often benefit from active physical therapy, which may include:
• Rhythmic arm and leg movements
• Balance exercises that target muscles in the lower body
• Stretching routines to keep hip flexors, hamstrings, and calf muscles flexible
• Resistance exercises using light dumbbells or resistance bands
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional care worker can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an elderly home care agency you can trust. Our care workers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
2. Amplitude Training
Amplitude training is a type of therapy specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s for the purpose of slowing decreased bodily movement (hypokinesia), a common symptom associated with PD. This form of therapy involves making overly exaggerated movements. Amplitude training might involve:
• Making big, broad arm swings
• Taking high steps when walking or standing in place
• Reaching up to “touch the sky”
3. Aquatic (Water-Based) Therapy
If your loved one is having difficulty with land-based exercises targeting the core muscle groups, he or she may benefit from aquatic therapy. Because of the natural buoyancy of water, the muscle groups that need to be stimulated to reduce the impact of movement limitations can be targeted in a way that’s not as stressful on joints and soft tissues. Therapeutic movements done in water can also help with balance and coordination. Your loved one may even notice improvements with mood and reduced mental stress and anxiety. Water-based therapy may involve:
• Water walking
• Water aerobics
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. North Coast seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Music Therapy
Playing instruments, drumming, singing, and dancing are just some of the many forms of music therapy that can be beneficial for your loved one. Music therapy can boost mood and cognition while presenting opportunities for socialisation with family members and other seniors. There’s also evidence suggesting music-based therapies can help older adults with Parkinson’s maintain their quality of life by enhancing:
• Vocal quality and tone when singing is involved
• Swallowing abilities because the throat muscles are stimulated
• Balance with rhythmic movements done to different beats
• Stride length with therapy involving marching in place
• Posture because of the need to position the body a certain way to project when singing or playing certain musical instruments
5. Art Therapy
According to the Shake It Up Australia Foundation, people with Parkinson’s may be able to maintain their functional independence with art-based therapies. There’s research suggesting artistic activities such as painting, sculpting, and drawing could contribute to improvements in:
• Mood and self-confidence
• Creativity and the ability to express feelings and emotions
• Fine motor skills
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Ageing adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. North Coast, NSW, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our care workers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (02) 6646 3527 today.