When you have a family member who is suffering from Parkinson's Disease, you can truly feel helpless as you watch this person struggle with a lack of balance, tremors, and other similar challenges. While there is yet to be a known cure for this disease, there are ways that patients can effectively manage it with the help of health practitioners. You can help your loved one by setting up a consultation at your local occupational therapy clinic. During this initial appointment, the occupational therapist will inquire about the progression of the disease and assess your family member's physical condition. There are several ways that regular therapy sessions can help, including in these areas.
Help With Balance
Those who suffer from Parkinson's Disease will often contend with balance issues at some point during the progression of the disease. This is a major concern because the person may end up falling, and if he or she is elderly, a serious injury — such as broken bones — can often occur. Your family member's occupational therapist can guide his or her patient through a series of exercises that promote better balance, as well as provide balance-improving exercises that your loved one can practice at home, perhaps with your help.
Help Against Muscle Loss
As people age, they naturally lose muscle mass. This is a concern for each member of the aging population, but can especially be problematic for those suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Low muscle mass may make the patient's tremors more uncontrollable, which can harm his or her quality of life. Occupational therapy is a valuable tool for helping the patient build muscle to slow down muscle loss. Using body-weight exercises, free weights, and other methods, the therapist will guide your family member through exercises that he or she can also practice at home.
Help Building Flexibility
A lack of flexibility is another issue that those with Parkinson's Disease often face. Flexibility issues can prevent the person from being able to effectively care for himself or herself, especially as the disease progresses, and may also increase the risk of a fall or various types of injuries. Your family member can fight back against his or her lack of flexibility with the help of a occupational therapist. This healthcare practitioner's regimen of stretching exercises can help to make the patient's body more limber and stronger. Contact a local occupational therapy clinic, like Hands-On Physical Therapy , to inquire about its therapists' experience with treating Parkinson's patients.