Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating illness that can make getting around the house very difficult. Parkinson’s affects the nerve center in the brain, and causes things like tremors, rigidity in muscles, and a change in the way that you walk. This can make moving around the house very dangerous, especially if the senior is living alone.
However, there are many things that you can do to make things easier on your aging parent or loved one if they are suffering from Parkinson’s that range from changing the furniture to hiring home care. Here is a list of several home improvement ideas that will make the senior’s home (or yours) safer and more comfortable for them.
- Phones – One might argue that there is no point in having phones connected to a landline in this day and age, and that people only rely on cell phones. But the truth is that, in this case, the more phones you have, the better. Even if your senior carries their cell phone around with them, it is still a good idea to install a telephone in every room, so that if something happens, he or she will be in reach of one. Also consider putting a sticker or a Post-it note on the receiver of each phone that lists all of the emergency phone numbers you or your aging loved one might need in an emergency.
- Rails and grab-bars – Getting up can be hard for any senior, regardless of whether or not they have Parkinson’s disease. Installing rails and handles near the bed, bathtub, and any other place there the senior will be getting up and down will make standing up much easier, and will help them to retain their balance even if they are having difficulty moving around that day. You can even install rails along the sides of the hallway to give the senior something to hold onto while they are walking.
- Lamps – Most lamps are turned on and off by a switch or a knob that you twist, but this can be very difficult for someone whose muscles are working against them. Consider replacing all lamps with ones that light up with just a touch or by sound. That way they can be turned on and off with less effort.
- Create space – Move the furniture around so that your aging loved one has plenty of room to walk without tripping over anything, or without having to turn to the side and try to squeeze through a narrow space. Seniors with Parkinson’s need plenty of space to move, and this will make it much less frustrating for them when they are trying to get around.
- Elevated seats – For people with Parkinson’s disease, sometimes sitting down and getting back up can be difficult. To make this easier, consider getting straight-backed chairs with elevated cushions, so that they don’t have so far to drop when they go to sit down. You can also install elevated toilet seats for this same reason, which will make using the restroom less of a chore.
Utilizing these tips will make living at home much easier for a senior struggling with Parkinson’s disease. If they need more help, though, consider hiring a home care aide, who will help assist them with their day-to-day tasks, and will make sure that they are safe when they move around the house. Be sure to discuss all of these things with your loved one first, though, as their comfort is the number one thing to keep in mind.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Danville, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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