The Importance of Health Checks

The Importance of Health Checks

Three Reasons To Consider Personal Care For A Parent With Parkinson's Disease

by Roberta Craig

It is estimated that 13,500 new cases of Parkinson's Disease will be diagnosed in Australia in 2018. Parkinson's disease can leave sufferers dealing with tremors, slow movements, rigid muscles, and a tendency to fall. If your parent has been diagnosed with Parkinson's this year, you likely want to make sure your parent receives the care they need to help them get through each day. If your parent doesn't want to leave their current home, personal in-home health care is an option that might be attractive to your family. Here are three reasons why engaging a personal home carer will allow your parent to retain some semblance of normalcy at home.

Eating

Eating is essential to life, but without some help, Parkinson's patients lose the ability to enjoy a meal safely in their own home. Personal care providers can help your parent at meal times in a number of different ways:

  1. Cutting the food up into bite-size pieces so it can be carefully chewed and swallowed. Cutting food is difficult once hand tremors appear.
  2. Making sure water is on hand to help wash the food down. A side-effect of many Parkinson's medications is dry mouth, so it is important that there be plenty of water on hand.
  3. Encouraging your parent to sit at the table to eat their meal by sitting at the table beside them. While sitting on the couch is a lovely treat, the body slouches more compared to when sitting on a dining chair. When posture is correct, it is easier for food to travel through the digestive system.

Bathing

Another daily task which Parkinson's sufferers need help with is bathing. Nobody wants to give up the daily enjoyment of a shower or bath, but for those living with Parkinson's, bathing can become a dangerous act. The tendency to fall means that a shower is a hazard. The potential to slip over and bang the body into the shower walls is a real problem. A bath, however, can be difficult to navigate in and out of due to muscle rigidity. Therefore, unless your parent wants to stick to sponge baths for the rest of their life, then bathing is an area where they will need another person's help.

When it comes to bath time, your parent can stipulate what they are comfortable with. Some people have no issues with being naked and bathed by a carer, as they liken it as returning to their childhood when mum took care of them. However, other people are more modest and prefer to wash their private areas themselves. Whatever your parent's wishes are, they will be respected by the personal carer.

Other Grooming

Once your parent is nice and clean, the carer can move onto other areas of personal grooming as needed by your parent. Some patients have long hair and enjoy the treat of brushed and styled hair. Male patients enjoy having their face shaved, their eyebrows trimmed, or their ears cleaned. Hand tremors make all these little tasks very difficult and frustrating. Once frustration levels begin to rise, then irritability comes along too. The carer can even help organize clothes for the days when the carer is not there so that your parent doesn't have to try and get them out of the closet or the drawers.

As long as your parent wants to maintain their independence by living in their own home, it is important that extra help be found to make this wish a reality. Talk to your local home health care provider about personal care options in your area. They can then set up interviews between your parent and a selection of carers so that they can find somebody who they are comfortable sharing parts of their life with.


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About Me

The Importance of Health Checks

Hello, my name is Liam and I live in Alice Springs, Australia. I work pretty hard every day out on my farm, so it isn't unusual for me to have aches and pains. I hate going to the doctor so I normally pop a couple of painkillers or open a cold beer to deal with the discomfort. However, my wife kept on nagging me to see a doctor, which I eventually did. The doctor at Fidelity Health Choice discovered that I had a rare infection which was causing the pain. After a course of drugs, I fully recovered. I now attend regular appointments. I hope you enjoy my health and wellbeing blog.

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