Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurological disorder that could affect more than a million Americans by 2030, according to a Parkinson’s Foundation study. But it’s not always possible to prevent this progressive condition from developing because of the many factors involved. That being said, there are steps that can be taken to lower Parkinson’s risk in the senior years.
Healthy Food Choices
WebMD reports obesity has been linked to a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease later in life. Various studies have also linked healthy eating and a steady intake of beneficial vitamins and other nutrients with a reduced risk of developing this condition. By focusing on healthy food choices, seniors can maintain a healthy weight while also getting a steady stream of beneficial nutrients. The Parkinson’s Foundation recommendations a diet that includes:
• Fresh raw veggies and fruits
• Plenty of grain products
• Complex carbohydrates
Diet-wise, it’s also a good idea for seniors looking to reduce their PD risk to avoid foods with high amounts of sugar and sodium. Alcoholic beverages should also be consumed in moderation.
Preparing nutritious meals is often a challenging task for seniors with Parkinson’s. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Because Parkinson’s is inflammatory in nature, researchers are looking at the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids for preventative purposes. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in greater amounts in walnuts, pastured eggs, and wild-caught fish like salmon and mackerel.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring antioxidant that’s also found in certain foods. Lower levels of this coenzyme have also been associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Food-based sources of CoQ10 seniors can add to their diets to lower their PD risk include:
• Liver, kidney, and other “organ meats”
• Grass-fed beef
• Spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower
Avoiding Certain Toxins
There’s evidence suggesting exposure to toxins such as herbicides and pesticides may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Even though this particular risk factor is low, it never hurts for seniors to err on the side of caution and avoid long-term exposure to such substances.
Better Immune System Health
The journal Nature cites evidence suggesting Parkinson’s may be associated with immune system dysfunctions. Other than eating healthy foods, seniors can boost their immune system health with high-quality sleep, sufficient hydration, and regular exercise.
Regular Aerobic Exercise
Harvard Health Publishing cites research suggesting regular exercise may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, a University of Illinois study has linked regular aerobic exercise with a reduction in brain inflammation, which might also counteract inflammatory signals associated with PD. Exercises such as walking, low-impact aerobic workouts, swimming, and even dancing have also been associated with a boost in overall brain health.
Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Castle Rock in-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Stress, whether it’s physical or mental in nature, has been associated with the type of inflammation that could contribute to conditions like Parkinson’s or worsen symptoms. Seniors may be able to ease stress with an approach to stress management that involves:
• Identifying stress triggers
• Mood-boosting forms of exercise like walking, yoga, and water-based exercises
• Maintaining strong social connections
• Deep breathing, meditation, and similar relaxation techniques
Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from family members or other caregivers to do so safely. For many seniors in Castle Rock, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 720-580-5378.