The Importance of Person-Centered Activities for a Parent with Parkinson's Disease

Senior Care in Canandaigua NY

Senior Care in Canandaigua NYBeing on a senior care journey with an elderly loved one who is dealing with Parkinson’s disease can be extremely difficult. This is often a disease that people who are entering care relationships with their aging parents do not anticipate experiencing or even have on their “radar” as they might with Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. When you are facing a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, however, it is just as important as it is with any of these other concerns for you to create a care approach that is nurturing, supporting, and focused on giving your senior that highest quality of life possible throughout the progression of his disease. This starts with ensuring that his life remains active and engaged.

Staying active is critical to the health and well-being of a senior with Parkinson’s disease. This type of disease progressively diminishes physical and cognitive functioning, which can be extremely difficult for your loved one to deal with. Through supporting ongoing activity you can help to not only slow and successfully manage the progression of the disease, but also help your parent maintain more control, keeping him accustomed to the changes that are going on in his body and helping him to adapt to these changes so that he can maintain as much independence as possible.

When you are planning activities in your senior care routine it is important to not just select random activities that people recommend for adults coping with Parkinson’s disease and assume that they will be good for your loved one. Instead, focus on the things that your parent enjoys and the special activities that he has always liked to participate in, and create your care activities around those. This type of person-centered activities help to not only give your senior the benefits that come from the activities themselves, but also support better mental and emotional health as your parent continues to maintain his own personal identity throughout his disease even as he is coping with the changes that the condition brings.

Some examples of person-centered activities ideal for adults dealing with Parkinson’s include:

• Puzzles. Doing puzzles strengthens the brain as well as trains the motor skills, but it is also a great activity for your parent to do with you, a senior health care services provider, or even your children. Look for a puzzle that has a theme that your parent enjoys, such as a special place or hobby.

• Video games. A senior who has progressed to a point in the disease at which he is no longer able to handle the same tasks and activities that he once was may feel depression and anxiety. Help to ease this and still give him the sense that he is enjoying his favorite activity by finding a video game themed to that activity. Active video games can mimic bowling, golfing, baseball, tennis, and many other activities with far less stress.

• Outings. Going on adventures supports your parent’s mental, emotional, cognitive, and physical health by offering social interaction, movement, and the opportunity to learn new things. Find places to visit that speak to his interests but that are still accessible and safe such as a planetarium for a science-minded senior or an aquarium for one who loves the beach.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Canandaigua, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.