Seniors with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often benefit from complementary therapies designed to help them treat or manage underlying problems related to this condition. Since Parkinson’s can have a significant impact on everyday life, additional therapies can be beneficial by addressing these issues in ways that are engaging and even enjoyable. Here are six perfect therapy ideas to consider if you have a senior loved one living with Parkinson’s.
1. Speech Therapy
Seniors with PD often have difficulties related to speech that might involve a reduction in vocal quality and tone. There can also be an inability to clearly convey emotions. Cognitive problems related to PD may affect speech as well. Speech therapy helps with these issues using techniques that might include:
- Facial expression exercises
- Learning how to use an alphabet or communication board if articulation is a problem
- Throat and vocal cord relaxation techniques
- Lee Silverman voice therapy (LSVT)—an intensive speech therapy program specially designed for those with PD to help them tell when their voices are too quiet so they’ll know when to speak louder
2. Physical Therapy
What’s great about physical therapy for Parkinson’s is that recommendations can be personalized and adjusted as the disease progresses. A well-structured physical therapy plan that includes both structured exercises and home-based suggestions can help seniors with PD with:
- Limb function
- Strength and endurance
- Posture and stability
- Gait and balance
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. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
3. Occupational Therapy
The goal of occupational therapy is to help seniors with Parkinson’s disease maintain or enhance their quality of life. Occupational therapists typically focus on daily living skills involving:
- Eating, bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Preparing meals and doing other enjoyable tasks, such as gardening
- Moving safely around the home
Occupational therapists may also suggest ways to make your loved one’s home safer. Additionally, they can help your loved one learn how to use assistive devices to get around and complete tasks.
4. Water Therapy
There’s evidence suggesting water-based therapy may slow the progression of PD and reduce the severity of symptoms. Water therapy can also make it easier for seniors unable to perform traditional exercise routines on land to stimulate the same muscle groups.
Mobility issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging loved ones increasingly challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Mesa, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
5. Music Therapy
According to a study referenced by the Parkinson’s Foundation, people with PD saw enhancements in speech, movement, mental health, and cognition with regular music therapy. Posture may also increase because of side-to-side movements seniors can make when listening to enjoyable music or having a group singing session. Another approach to music therapy is to combine it with movement-based exercise to increase flexibility and coordination.
6. Art Therapy
Art-related projects involve many of the same neurological mechanisms that tend to be affected in some way by Parkinson’s disease. The American Art Therapy Association believes various forms of art can be beneficial for people with PD by helping them express themselves nonverbally while also stimulating the brain’s creative processes and increasing manual dexterity. Projects can be tailored to your loved one’s physical limitations and may include:
- Painting with oils or watercolors
- Sculpting with clay
- Making collages or scrapbooks
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families looking for top-rated Mesa senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (480) 699-4899 to schedule a free in-home consultation.