If your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are both maneuvering some new waters that may seem scary at times. Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and the parts of the body controlled by the nerves. It usually starts slowly with tremors or stiffness in movements but it can gradually make any movement difficult and limit the things that someone can participate in.
Exercise is important for everyone, and while at first, it might seem like exercise and Parkinson’s don’t go hand-in-hand, exercise is an important part of your loved one’s life to help him maintain balance, mobility, and daily living activities. It will help him stay independent and enjoy all that life has to offer.
Four types of exercise are important to help your loved one stay active and keep his symptoms under control. Some he can do on his own, while others may require a partner like a home care assistance provider. A home care assistance provider can also give him plenty of positive reinforcement as well or provide a ride to and from the gym.
Your loved one should aim for getting aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week for 30 or more minutes. Exercises that can be included are swimming, brisk walking or running, and an aerobics class. The exercise should be considered moderate to vigorous. Having a caregiver nearby, either a professional, yourself, or his home care assistance team can help keep him safe in case his muscles freeze.
Balance and Agility Training
Since balance can be a struggle for those with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to work on improving it starting from the moment your loved one is diagnosed. He should do activities like yoga, tai chi, or boxing 2-3 times a week but also do daily balance exercises such as standing on one foot. Since balance can be a concern, taking a class that is geared toward those with Parkinson’s disease can help your loved one stay safe. When at home, using a solid and stable item to hold onto while performing his exercise is important. His home care assistance provider can also help with standing nearby for him to grab onto if needed.
To prevent the stiffness that comes with Parkinson’s, daily stretching should be an important part of his exercise regimen. It should be sustained stretching accompanied by deep breathing. He can do it on its own or incorporate it into his warm-up and cool-off periods for his other exercise.
On non-consecutive days, your loved one should work on strength-building. Using a gym that provides equipment for him to work on strength training for all of his muscle groups is often the best way to build strength. He can also use free weights but always have someone nearby to assist when and if needed.
Talking with your loved one’s doctor and perhaps a fitness trainer who specializes in patients with Parkinson’s disease can make sure your loved one keeps his workouts safe and productive.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care Assistance in Beaumont, CA please contact the caring staff at Calvary Senior Care today. (866) 710-8767
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