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Simple and Effective Exercises for People With Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and central nervous system. It can affect movement, speech, and other functions. The brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps control movement, die off over time in people with Parkinson's disease. This can lead to problems with movement and coordination as well as cognitive issues, such as difficulty in thinking, paying attention and memory problems. There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but there are ways that can help improve symptoms, including regular exercise. 

How does exercise help people with Parkinson's disease?

There are a few ways that exercise can help people with Parkinson's disease. First, exercise can help improve movement and coordination. It can also help keep the muscles strong, flexible, and healthy, which can help maintain balance and prevent falls. Regular exercise can also improve mood, sleep quality, thinking skills, memory function and overall well-being in people with Parkinson's disease. 

Exercises for people with Parkinson's disease

There are many different types of exercises that can be helpful for people with Parkinson's disease. Some examples include: 

1) Task sequencing exercises

One of the biggest issues people with Parkinson's disease face is problems with task sequencing, or the ability to do things in the right order. A great way to help with this is task sequencing, which involves doing a series of simple tasks in the correct order, such as putting on a shirt, brushing your teeth, and making a sandwich. This exercise can help improve sequencing and organization skills in people with Parkinson's disease. 

2) Puzzle exercises

Doing puzzles can help improve thinking skills and memory function in people with Parkinson's disease. Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, from crosswords to jigsaw puzzles to word searches. You can find them online, in newspapers and magazines and books.

Some of the best puzzles for people with Parkinson's disease include those that focus on spatial relationships, sequencing and organization skills, visual discrimination of shapes and patterns, language abilities, such as word searches or crossword puzzles.

It's important for patients to do puzzles that are challenging enough to keep them interested, but not so hard that they get frustrated.  

3) Balance and gait training

Proper balance is important for people with Parkinson's disease to help prevent falls. One way to improve balance is through a type of exercise called gait, or walking practice. Gait exercises can be done at home or in physical therapy sessions, depending on the needs of the patient. In this exercise, patients practice walking in a safe and controlled environment, such as on a treadmill or balance beam. This can help improve balance and coordination in people with Parkinson's disease. 

When it comes to balance, Tai Chi is also a great option for patients. Tai Chi helps improve balance and coordination, as well as posture control, stress relief, muscle strength and flexibility. 

4) Knitting and sewing

People with Parkinson's disease may also benefit from doing crafts. Knitting and sewing are great activities that provide improvements in motor skills as well as hand dexterity and coordination. In addition, it can help improve mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.

These would also be great exercises for people looking to improve focus, patience, problem-solving skills and memory, and the best part is that it can be done alone or in a group setting.  

Let us help you!

Senior Helpers Wilmette-Evanston specializes in providing high-quality, trusted in-home care for seniors, including those with Parkinson's disease. We can help you or your loved one live independently at home by offering personal assistance services.

The good news is that we train our caregivers on the best ways to assist seniors with Parkinson's disease, including how to view the world through their eyes and the kinds of exercises they might benefit from. 

We want to help you or your loved one live life with confidence, so call us today for more information about our senior care plans!

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