Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes the gradual destruction of certain nerve cells in the brain. These nerve cells control muscle movement and coordination. As the disease progresses, muscles lose their ability to respond properly, causing increasing difficulty in movement and motor skills.
Caring for a loved one who is living with Parkinson’s disease can be extremely stressful and emotionally taxing. Watching your loved one struggle with this disorder, and witnessing the symptoms become more pronounced over time, can leave a caregiver feeling overwhelmed.
It’s important to seek help from professionals for both the patient and the caregiver. Although someone living with this disease may want to live at home for as long as possible, there comes a point when their quality of life will suffer without expert care services. And, the increasing commitment required by a family caregiver may become too much to handle.
An assisted living community specializing in caring for people living with Parkinson’s disease can lead to great improvements in their quality of life, and provide relief for the family caregiver. Read on to find out when you should consider assisted living and what you should expect for your loved one with Parkinson’s disease from a quality assisted living facility.
How Do You Know When a Person with Parkinson’s Needs a Care Facility?
A person in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease can be cared for at home if their family caregiver has the time and ability to help them maintain their highest possible quality of life. As the disease progresses, however, assisted living, or a skilled nursing facility will become necessary to ensure the person’s comfort and safety.
Signs Assisted Living Might Be Appropriate:
- Dependence on others for hygiene and personal care
- Greater risk of falls because of balance issues and lack of muscle control
- Weight loss due to difficulty eating or medication side- effects
- Medication management becoming complex and time-consuming
- Lack of housekeeping, or pet neglect because your loved one requires constant attention
- Discomfort because the home doesn’t accommodate specialized medical equipment
- Social isolation because outings have become difficult to manage
- Signs of depression or anxiety as quality of life becomes more difficult to maintain
A family caregiver may want their loved one to stay at home, but over time their quality of life will diminish. Whether due to employment, other obligations, or lack of nursing skills, someone living with Parkinson’s disease will eventually be better served in a skilled nursing facility with health care professionals.
What Can You Expect from Assisted Living?
There are several factors to consider when choosing an assisted living community for your loved one who is living with Parkinson’s disease. Basic care needs should be met to keep them comfortable and safe throughout each day. This includes services such as housekeeping, bathing and personal care, nutritious and pleasing meals, 24-hour emergency medical care, and proper medication management.
The advantages of assisted living for someone with Parkinson’s disease will go beyond those basic needs. These include services and amenities such as safe exercise programs catered to each individual’s abilities, ample opportunities to socialize and interact with friends and loved ones, and transportation to and from doctor appointments.
It’s also vitally important an assisted living facility be a warm and supportive community where staff and residents strive to live together harmoniously and get the most out of their day to day life.
What to Look for When Choosing an Assisted Living Community
When you research and tour an assisted living community that caters to those with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to make sure the staff is appropriately trained and experienced to deal with Parkinson’s specifically. Knowledge of medication management, helping residents with movement, and awareness of signs of disease progression are all important.
As you tour a community, observe the overall atmosphere. Is it clean, odor-free, bright and pleasant to walk around? Are the hallways and rooms wide and spacious for walkers and wheelchairs? Are there adequate handrails and no stairs or ledges that could cause a fall? Are there ample activity spaces and organized gatherings to engage and entertain residents throughout the day?
Most important is the attitude of the staff. A quality assisted living facility will be managed by pleasant, compassionate caregivers who will treat your loved one with warmth and respect. It’s very common for bonds of friendship to form between residents and their caregivers. You want your loved one to be able to look forward to seeing their friends, neighbors and caregivers each day.
Assisted Living at Garden Plaza
Garden Plaza of Florissant, Missouri, provides professional, compassionate care for your loved one at every stage of living. We develop a program catered to your loved one’s specific needs and are able to adapt whenever those needs change. Every resident deserves to get the most out of each and every day, and we dedicate ourselves to that purpose.
Contact us to find out more or schedule a visit.
Please note this article is for educational purposes only. If you think your loved one may have Parkinson’s please consult with a qualified physician.