Senior Care: Is Parkinson’s Treatable?

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Although there are a number of medications that can control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), there are currently no treatments for reversing its effects. Fortunately, with San Antonio in-home care services the right combination of conventional and alternative strategies, it is possible for those with PD to continue with regular routines.

Prescription Medications

Treatment for Parkinson’s can vary widely according to the progression of the disease and the needs of the individual patient. Most individuals with PD are prescribed a levadopa preparation, which is designed to replace and balance the body’s own diminished dopamine production. Common alternatives to levadopa preparations include anticholinergic medications and MAO inhibitors. These help to limit stiffness, tremors, and other common symptoms that impair mobility and overall functionality.

Surgical Treatments

There are also several, surgical treatments for PD that are relatively new including Deep Brain Stimulation or DBS. With DBS, tiny electrodes are placed in a targeted section of the brain. Next, a small device known as an impulse generator is installed beneath the collarbone and emits an electrical impulse to the portion of the brain that regulates motor functioning. In many instances, DBS is able to eliminate or significantly reduce the majority of PD symptoms. Those who elect to undergo these procedures are also given hand-held controls that they can use to monitor and adjust their DBS devices and turn them on and off.

Healthy Habits

Many PD patients experience a marked decline in their appetites. This is largely due to diminished dopamine, which plays a role in triggering feelings of hunger. It is important for individuals with PD to eat regular, balanced meals that contain an array of beneficial nutrients and ample, healthy fats. PD patients should avoid processed and refined foods, excess caffeine and beverages and snacks that contain large amounts of sugar. Individuals who may not have the ability to safely cook independently can look to help from professional caregivers who can assist on an as-needed basis, providing hourly home care in San Antonio.

Mental Health

Efforts to achieve and maintain mood balance are very important at this stage of life, particularly for those who suffer from PD. Regular, low-impact exercise can stave off feelings of anxiety, depression and general malaise. It can also limit muscle stiffness, promote better balance and help people retain more of their mobility. Family members and caregivers should also make a special effort to ensure that PD sufferers are not living in isolation. Marked changes in mobility and overall functionality can make it hard for these individuals to get out and socialize on their own.

Stress Control

Excess stress and mental angst can take a physical toll on Parkinson’s patients as can mood swings, depression, and isolation. Stress control is a surprisingly effective treatment for slowing the progression of this illness and limiting its symptoms. Many PD patients engage in water-based fitness activities, practice moderate yoga, or use diaphragmatic breathing to keep their emotions on even keel. With less stress, it is often possible limit losses in fine motor control and in balance and coordination, while reducing tremors and muscle stiffness.

Have other questions about managing Parkinson’s symptoms? Perhaps you’re looking for an in-home caregiver to help with daily activities and provide companionship. Call Home Care Assistance at (210) 495-6300 and learn more about Parkinson’s care in San Antonio. Our dedicated Care Managers are available to answer questions and can help you schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.


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