World Parkinson’s Day 2023: How To Support Loved Ones With Parkinson’s Disease – Expert’s Take

World Parkinson’s Day is observed every year on April 11 to raise awareness about Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. The day also aims to educate the public about the disease’s symptoms, causes, and treatments. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive disorder that affects movement, balance, and coordination. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary widely, but some of the most common ones include tremors, stiffness, slow movement, and difficulty with balance and coordination. 

If you or someone you know is living with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to seek out medical care and support. There are many resources available, including support groups, online forums, and educational materials, that can help you better understand the disease and manage its symptoms.

Parkinson’s not only affects a person’s physical health but also negatively affects the person’s mental health. Hence, it becomes even more important to support and be there for people suffering from the ailment as it may help reduce their suffering. 

Also read: World Parkinson’s Day 2023: Is Parkinson’s Disease Preventable? Check Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

On World Parkinson’s Day, Dr Vinit Suri, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, explains how one can support their loved ones suffering from Parkinson’s disease. 

World Parkinson’s Day 2023: How To Support Someone With Parkinson’s?

Dr Vinit Suri, shares that supporting someone with Parkinson’s can involve various aspects such as emotional support, physical assistance, and ensuring their medication and treatment regimes are being followed. 

Dr Vinit Suri shares some ways to support someone with Parkinson’s:

– Being a good listener and providing emotional support and empathy.

– Helping with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping.

– Assisting with physical activities such as walking, dressing, and grooming.

– Encouraging regular exercise and physical therapy.

– Accompanying them to medical appointments and advocating for their needs with healthcare professionals. 

– Educating yourself about Parkinson’s and how it affects the person you are supporting. 

What Activities Can Help Parkinson’s Patients?

Regular physical exercise is essential for Parkinson’s patients to maintain mobility and balance. As per Dr Vinit Suri, here are some activities that can help people suffering from Parkinson’s:

– Walking

– Dancing

– Cycling

– Yoga

– Tai Chi

– Swimming

In addition to physical activity, mental exercises such as puzzles, brain games, and reading can also help with cognitive function and improve overall well-being.

World Parkinson’s Disease Day 2023: Best Mental Health Exercises For Parkinson’s Patients 

As per Dr Suri, mental health exercises that can benefit Parkinson’s patients includes:

– Mindfulness meditation

– Deep breathing exercises

– Yoga or Tai Chi

– Cognitive training exercises such as puzzles and brain games

– Listening to calming music

– Spending time in nature or with animals

Is There Any Specific Diet For Parkinson’s Patients?

“There is no specific diet that has been proven to prevent or cure Parkinson’s disease. However, a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help maintain overall health,” Dr Suri said. 

Some studies have suggested that a Mediterranean-style diet may be beneficial for Parkinson’s patients, as it emphasizes healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and fish.

How To Improve the Quality Of Life Of People Suffering With Parkinson’s?

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are various treatments available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life, Dr Suri said. Some treatments include:

– Medications such as Levodopa and dopa agonist, can help with motor symptoms.

– Deep brain stimulation, which involves implanting electrodes in the brain to regulate movement.

– Physical therapy to improve mobility, strength, and balance.

– Speech therapy to improve communication and swallowing.

– Occupational therapy to help with daily tasks.

– Counseling or support groups to address emotional and mental health concerns.

World Parkinson’s Day 2023: Tips And Ways To Take Care Of People Suffering From Parkinson’s

Dr Suri shares that taking care of someone with Parkinson’s can be challenging, but there are ways to make the experience more manageable. Some tips include:

– Educate yourself about the disease and how it affects the person you are caring for. 

– Maintain a positive attitude and encourage independence as much as possible. 

– Practice good communication and be patient when communication is difficult. 

– Keep a consistent routine to help with medication schedules and daily tasks. 

– Take care of your own physical and emotional well-being to prevent caregiver burnout. 

– Join a support group or seek counseling to manage the emotional toll of caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s.

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