Coping Tips for Advancing Parkinson’s Disease

In-home caregivers are an important part of the care team because they can help individuals with safe transfers, medication reminders, and physical, occupational and speech therapy homework, among other daily tasks.  They also provide peace-of-mind and respite to spouses and other family caregivers who benefit from a break.

Keep medications on schedule. In the later stages of Parkinson’s, medication is often the difference between a patient’s ability to get up and move or them feeling stuck and unable to function. Staying on schedule with the medicine is essential to managing symptoms and learning how to maximize their benefit is key. For example some medications can interact with protein and must be taken 30 minutes before meals or 1 to 2 hours after, according to Engel.

When a person has problems swallowing, it’s also necessary to find other ways to administer the medicine, perhaps crushed and mixed in a thickened substance like applesauce (never crush timed-release medications). A good medical care team can advise you as to the best way to administer the medications and caregivers can offer medication reminders to help you adhere to the schedule. Always check with your physician on any medication modifications.

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