Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a condition that affects around one million people in the United States.
It’s a mysterious disease that can affect people differently. The more family caregivers know about PD, the more confident they can be in caring for an older adult with PD. April is the perfect time to learn about PD because it’s National Parkinson’s Awareness Month. One of the things that people often have questions about is what kind of diet a person with PD should follow.
How Parkinson’s Affects Eating
Because PD affects the way a person moves, they can have difficulty eating. It can be hard for them to control their movements, making it hard to keep food from falling off the fork or for the hand to get to the mouth. People with PD may have other symptoms that affect eating, too. They might become constipated easily. They may also have difficulty swallowing, or medications may make them feel sick to their stomach. All these things can affect the types of food the older adult can eat or the way the foods need to be prepared.
Eating with Parkinson’s
There isn’t a specific diet for people with PD. Instead, doctors recommend that PD patients eat an overall balanced diet. Eating well can improve the senior’s general health. It can also help the medications and treatments for PD to work better. Here are some tips for helping a senior with PD to eat well:
-Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, which provide important nutrients and help the senior feel more energetic.
-Foods that contain plenty of fiber can prevent constipation. They can also help regulate blood pressure.
-Some foods can cause medication side effects. Talk to the doctor about the medications your aging relative is taking, and which foods may cause problems.
-Find out if the medications the senior is taking will work better if meals are timed a certain way or if they contain certain foods.
-Make sure the older adult drinks lots of water so they stay hydrated.
-Don’t serve beverages with foods as they can increase the risk of choking.
-Serve room temperature or cool foods if the smell of warm foods causes nausea.
Elder care can assist people with PD to eat better. An elder care provider can prepare nutritious foods according to the doctor’s recommendations. An elder care provider can also make sure the senior gets enough fluids to avoid dehydration and constipation. If the older adult has difficulty eating on their own, an elder care provider can assist them by steadying their hand as they eat or by holding the fork themselves.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Des Plaines, IL, please contact the caring staff at Inspired Care Home Health today. Call and talk to our friendly caring staff at 847-787-7572.