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HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control movement. People with Parkinson’s disease may experience a range of challenges, including difficulty managing personal care activities, such as toileting, bathing, and grooming that we typically take for granted.

elderly lady coming down her stairs with the help from her dedicated care and support worker.

Toileting:

One of the most common challenges of personal care for someone with Parkinson’s disease is difficulty going to the toilet. Parkinson’s can cause stiffness, tremors, and slowness in movement, which can make it difficult to get to the bathroom in time. Additionally, the disease can affect continence, leading to urinary or fecal incontinence.

If your loved one is experiencing similar challenges, we’ve put together a collection of strategies for you to try to mitigate the symptoms:

1. Establish a schedule: Having a regular toileting schedule can help prevent accidents. Try to use the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day, such as every two hours for example.

2. Use adaptive devices: There are a variety of adaptive devices that can help make toileting easier for people with Parkinson’s disease, such as raised toilet seats, grab bars, and toilet frames.

3. Use incontinence products: If continence is an issue, consider using incontinence products such as absorbent pads or briefs to manage accidents.

4. The use of waterless body soaps and shampoo may help. These products can be used when sitting on a bed or bring bedridden. They eliminate the need to transfer to the bathroom or the need for water, which can get messy outside of the bathroom. 

Bathing:

Another challenge around personal care for individuals with Parkinson’s disease is bathing. Parkinson’s typically affects balance and coordination, making it difficult to manoeuvre around the bathtub or shower.

Our team of Care Professionals have put together some strategies to help make bathing and showering easier for your loved one:

1. Use a shower bench or chair: Using a shower or bath bench can provide additional stability and support while bathing.

2. Use a handheld showerhead: A handheld showerhead can provide additional flexibility and control, allowing individuals to direct water where it is most needed.

3. Modify the bathroom: Make modifications to the bathroom to make it safer and more accessible. This can include installing grab bars, using non-slip mats, and reducing clutter.

Grooming:

Finally, grooming can also be a challenge for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Fine motor coordination are often affected by the disease, making everyday tasks such as brushing teeth or combing hair more difficult.

Here are a few ideas we found to help Parkinson’s sufferers with their grooming:

1. Use adaptive devices: There are specialized devices available for individuals with Parkinson’s disease that can help with grooming tasks, such as electric toothbrushes or easy-grip hairbrushes.

2. Simplify grooming routines: Simplifying grooming routines can make them more manageable. For example, using dry shampoo instead of washing hair every day, or using pre-moistened wipes instead of a traditional washcloth.

3. Seek assistance: There’s no shame in asking for help. Consider enlisting the help of a caregiver or loved one for certain grooming tasks, especially if they become too difficult to manage independently.

Parkinson’s disease is a distressing disease that makes many of the everyday tasks we all take for granted really challenging. However, there are measures you can undertake to help make these activities more manageable and less stressful. We’ve outlined some in the article above; however, there are others out there.  Make sure you are taking advantage of the variety of new adaptive devices coming onto the market. Likewise, making modifications to your loved one’s environment can have a massive positive impact. And finally, don’t underestimate the important of seeking assistance from others; whether that is friends and family or professional carers. By being proactive and seeking solutions to these challenges, individuals with Parkinson’s disease can maintain their independence and quality of life for far longer.

For more information Parkinson’s Disease check out the Parkinson’s UK website or get in touch and speak to one of our friendly team to discover how we can help support you or your loved one. Call us on 020 8610 9778 or email at info@comfortcareathome.co.uk.

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