When acting as a caregiver for someone with , it’s important to recognize the of a .
A patient with an informed, may experience fewer of and slower . When paired with , physical activity, and appropriate medication (such as ) as guided by a physician, a nutritional diet can truly improve the for a patient with .
Whether the patient may benefit from
(or avoiding ) or simply some specific , caregivers who consult a on the impact of nutrition on ’s are sure to find aid in their care plan.
For patients, a can address typical like and while improving overall . At the same time, caregivers should consider the difficulties that come with the ’s, the maintenance of a , and the use of .
Some patients may have or handling their food. Consider foods and serving methods that can aid your loved one in getting the nutrition they need.
Consult a to consider what approach may be best for your loved one, whether that means them taking medicine on an or with a small snack. Avoid your loved one from pairing with foods.
foods such as contain , they do not provide enough to be considered a significant nutrient source.
A healthy lifestyle that includes diet, exercise, and sleep can help improve one's overall general
Here are the four tips to help your loved one with Parkinson's:
that provide , , , or may be effective in alleviating symptoms or the progression of PD.
However, consult your loved one’s physician before implementing any into their s plan of care. Every Parkinson’s patient will have specific needs according to their body.
Consider the major such as , fruits, vegetables, and .
Finding healthy ways to meet the daily recommended servings of these groups, along with a healthy intake, will help to establish a for your loved one withParksinon’s disease.
Implementing a healthier diet is a difficult and often intimidating task. However, by taking one step at a time, the caregiver can walk with the PD patient as they move toward a diet that is better for their condition and general health.
It’s important to understand how Parkinson’s may affect a patient’s overall appetite. If a patient is experiencing anxiety or depression, this may contribute to a lower appetite.
Consider foods that help increase appetite (bitter greens, spicy meals), and fill each meal with nutrient- to make the most of the food your loved one can eat. Consider filling meals with healthy and filling fats, such as nuts and .
may increase the difficulties associated with eating, and the caregiver may feel unequipped to address these challenges appropriately.
Consider working with an occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist who can aid the patient in motor function and swallowing.
The number one priority for a caregiver is to empathize with their loved one and stay informed as to the best plan of care to implement
Should it become more difficult to understand your loved one’s current mood or situation, avoid resorting to anger, frustration, impatience, or apathy?
As their caregiver, simply inform and encourage your loved one to avoid the following:
Avoid high consumption of sugars. Foods high in sugar lack nutritional value, are high in and can have many other negative effects on nutritional and dental health.
Avoid foods high in sodium to decrease the risk of high and hypertension.
Avoid saturated fats and —foods rich in these substances contribute to heart disease, the risk for cancer, and unnecessary weight gain.
Avoid high alcohol intake. Consult a doctor on the effect of alcohol on the patient’s medication plan to avoid unwanted from mixing alcohol with the medication.
Avoid pairing iron with . Consider taking iron a few hours after to encourage maximum absorption.
Avoid dehydration. When a PD patient is low on fluids, they are at risk for motor and balance problems, kidney issues, and fatigue. Be aware that many
can dehydrate patients and provide many opportunities for fluid intake throughout the day.
Help your loved one make one informed change at a time.
Every step of the way, consult trustworthy research alongside your loved one’s care team of doctors and therapists to plan meals and menus for the PD patient. Don’t pressure your loved one with Parkinson’s into making every immediately.
Instead, patiently implement accessible changes to create a sustainable, accessible diet that equips them with what they need.
A may not alleviate every challenge that comes with . Still, considering the best foods for a PD patient can help a caregiver lessen symptoms and slow .
A adjusted to the patient’s medication plan will provide a higher while accounting for the individual challenges of each PD patient.
Robert C. Fisher is a Nurse Director at a large medical center in Boston, MA, who holds a Master’s in Nursing Leadership and Administration and an MBA in Healthcare Management.
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