6 Therapeutic Activities for Seniors with Parkinson's Disease

6 Beneficial Activities for Elderly People with Parkinson’s

By , 9:00 am on

While seniors with Parkinson’s may have some physical or cognitive limitations, they can still participate in enjoyable activities. Therapeutic activities can increase muscle coordination and mobility while promoting a positive mood. Here are six therapeutic activities seniors with Parkinson’s disease may enjoy.

1. Gardening

Gardening is an excellent therapeutic activity for seniors with Parkinson’s who have neurological deficits in their upper extremities. When outdoors tending to a garden, sun exposure can help the body manufacture vitamin D, which may be decreased in aging adults with Parkinson’s disease. Working with the soil and gardening tools increases hand and finger range of motion and flexibility and may prevent morning stiffness and pain.

2. Knitting or Crocheting

One of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is fine tremors of the hands. Doing craft projects such as knitting and crocheting helps seniors with Parkinson’s gain strength and control in the hands and fingers. While grasping knitting or crocheting needles may be challenging at first, hand grasp may become stronger as time goes by. Doing needle crafts can increase circulation in the hands, and your loved one may enjoy a sense of pride after completing a project.

3. Cooking

Cooking increases hand flexibility and allows seniors to have some control over their dietary limitations. People with Parkinson’s sometimes have swallowing issues and are unable to eat many of their favorite foods. When seniors with Parkinson’s are involved in the cooking process, they can prepare foods to their own liking and swallowing abilities.

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. Playing the Piano

Parkinson’s disease can cause anxiety and depression in those affected with neurological and mobility deficits. Piano playing enhances finger flexibility and hand-eye coordination, and it also promotes relaxation and feelings of wellbeing. If your loved one is able to leave the home, enroll him or her in a piano class. If he or she is unable to venture out for a music lesson, consider renting a piano or keyboard and looking for a piano instructor who will come to the home for the lessons. 

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 Chandler, 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. Meditating

Meditation relaxes the muscles while relieving pain. If your loved one is inexperienced in meditation, he or she can simply watch an online instructional video or get a free e-book that explains meditation and its benefits. Soothing music can also be played during meditation sessions, which may enhance the calming experience.

6. Spending Time with a Pet

If your loved one doesn’t have a pet, make arrangements for him or her to spend time with animals. Being in close contact with animals such as dogs and cats can relieve stress and depression in those with Parkinson’s, and it may even lower blood pressure and regulate the heart rate, which may be irregular as a result of Parkinson’s-related vagus nerve damage. Hugging or petting an animal promotes the brain’s release of “feel-good” chemicals such as endorphins, which may relieve muscle rigidity pain in seniors with Parkinson’s disease.

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. Chandler, 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. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at 480.448.6215 today.