6 Activities That Can Be Therapeutic for Older Adults with Parkinson’s

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system, and it can impact an individual’s emotional, mental, and physical health. There currently isn’t a permanent cure for this disorder, but many seniors are able to minimize the symptoms with various pastimes, treatments, and hobbies. Here’s a quick look at six therapeutic activities that are perfect for seniors with Parkinson’s.

1. Dancing

Dancing is an excellent pastime for people of all ages, but it’s particularly beneficial for older adults who have Parkinson’s. A pilot study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine revealed that dancing can increase motor function and reduce rigidity. While some people enjoy learning how to dance by watching videos and online tutorials, heading to a local dance class gives your senior loved one a chance to socialize with his or her peers.

2. Writing

One of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is limited manual dexterity. This condition also negatively impacts hand strength, which is why seniors should constantly be engaging in activities that strengthen the arms, wrists, and hands. Writing in a journal or jotting down short stories actively engages all the major muscles throughout the arms. Many companies have even designed pencil grips and other writing aids specifically for those who have Parkinson’s disease.

3. Doing Breathing Exercises

There are many different reasons doctors are now telling seniors who have Parkinson’s to engage in breathing exercises. Studies continue to show this practice can strengthen the immune system, enhance digestion, and reduce blood pressure. Regularly performing these exercises can also help seniors with Parkinson’s manage shortness of breath. If your loved one is interested in breathing exercises, you might want to start him or her off with a few online tutorials. 

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

4. Practicing Tai Chi

This unique practice emphasizes fluid movements that strengthen and elongate all the primary muscle groups. While tai chi is technically a martial art, it doesn’t involve any weapons, combat, or physical contact. Practitioners simply move through strict routines while focusing on the mind-body connection. Doing tai chi can increase strength, mobility, balance, and dexterity.

Mobility issues in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease can make caring for aging adults increasingly challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Prescott, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

5. Playing Word Association Games

Even though Parkinson’s is a disorder of the nervous system, it impacts many different areas of the brain as well. Over time, this disease could make it difficult for seniors to interact with the world around them, but those cognitive issues can often be delayed with the right exercises. Word association games are perfect for those who have difficulty with language, reasoning, and semantic memory. Free and affordable word association games can easily be downloaded onto a tablet, computer, or smartphone.

6. Swimming

Aquatic exercises are a great option for anyone who has mild to moderate Parkinson’s. In addition to being a low-impact form of exercise, swimming is also one of the best ways to burn calories. This activity activates all the major muscle groups at the same time, resulting in stronger muscles and a healthier cardiovascular system. Lifting weights and pulling on exercise bands can be beneficial as well, but some seniors with Parkinson’s have limited grip strength.

Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elderly home care. Prescott, AZ, families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized Parkinson’s home care plan for your loved one, call 928-771-0105 today.