The Social Impact of Parkinson’s on the Elderly

The challenges associated with Parkinson’s disease can strain relationships between seniors and their caregivers as well as with other family members and friends. The symptoms of the disease can also make it difficult for seniors to complete regular tasks, causing them to become isolated. Below are potential problems many seniors with Parkinson’s disease experience and the impact these challenges have on their social lives. 

Mobility Impairment

Tremors, freezing, and falling are more common in older adults with Parkinson’s due to the brain changes that take place as the disease progresses. Fear of falling or experiencing tremors while in public could cause your aging loved one to stay at home and turn down social invitations. However, exercising can increase mobility for seniors with this condition and boost their confidence. Teach your loved one techniques that lead to better balance and reduce the risk of falls, such as avoiding uneven surfaces, walking in clutter-free spaces, and using walking devices. At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having the help of professional caregivers. Families looking for top-rated Edmonton respite care providers can reach out to Butterfly Dreams Respite Care. From respite care to specialized convalescent care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Poor Communication

Speech difficulties and cognitive decline are common in seniors with Parkinson's and can cause them to skip social outings. When their friends and family members reach out, they may refuse to take their phone calls. Eventually, the relationships become broken. Before the situation is beyond repair, you should help your loved one find effective communication techniques that enhance socialization. For instance, your loved one can use speech therapy apps to address mumbling, hoarseness, and other problems that cause him or her to talk less. Although the disease could impact your loved one’s speaking abilities, it doesn’t have to prevent socialization. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to manage, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in senior care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Butterfly Dreams Respite Care, an Edmonton care home that provides high-quality respite care so family caregivers can get a much-needed break to avoid burnout and focus on their own health and wellness.

Increased Stress Levels

Parkinson’s-related stress could be due to chronic pain, confusion, and the inability to do things without receiving assistance from others. Help your loved one control stress by simplifying daily routines or customizing social activities. For example, if your parent is unable to stand for long periods, encourage him or her to take breaks when participating in fun activities. If your loved one likes gardening, you can add chairs and benches near the garden so he or she can take breaks when feeling weak. The objective is to prevent activities from becoming stressful so they promote socialization.

Outside Support

Talking to family and friends is essential for a senior’s mental and emotional health, but sometimes older adults with Parkinson’s prefer to interact with people who share their experiences. Therefore, you should consider signing your loved one up for a Parkinson’s support group where he or she can socialize with other people living with the condition. While at these group meetings, your loved one could become more comfortable sharing information and receiving tips that enhance his or her mood and encourage him or her to accept future invitations to social outings. The advice received from individuals in the support group can provide a sense of hope and help your loved one readjust to life. When considering an Edmonton respite home, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their dignity and remain healthy. Trusted respite care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like bathing and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. Butterfly Dreams Respite Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly team members today at 587-800-4822 to learn more about our customized care plans.