According to EPDA, some people with Parkinson’s say that their symptoms ease to some extent when they are focused on creative therapies. While Parkinson’s sufferers can often feel frustrated at their inability to keep up with the rest of their families, there are plenty of activities that can buoy morale and give sufferers a renewed sense of purpose.
If your loved one is living with the difficulty of any of the five stages of Parkinson’s disease and you want to encourage family activities that can enhance their physical and mental wellbeing, consider the following skills and pastimes:
The therapy of music can improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s sufferers in many ways. Primarily, it can promote an individual’s self-expression, improve their memory and help to overcome non-motor symptoms such as anxiety and isolation. Learning a new musical instrument together can be hugely uplifting for all concerned.
Art can be a great way for Parkinson’s sufferers to express themselves, providing a much-needed vehicle for their thoughts and feelings. Whether it’s oil or watercolour painting, drawing or sculpting, it’s a chance for your loved one to absorb themselves in something positive.
It can be stressful for Parkinson’s sufferers and their loved ones to dine in busy restaurants. Instead, why not arrange a family get-together in the garden and enjoy an outdoor picnic. You could involve them in making the food for the picnic as a form of therapy too. It’s a chance to eat and socialise with one another and potentially play games that can also keep your loved one mentally sharp.
A great way to spend a night together as a family is to host board game nights. Board games and puzzles are a great way of occupying your loved ones and minimising their mental frustrations, even if it’s for the short-term. Board games are also very effective in helping Parkinson’s sufferers connect with their loved ones. Detaching them from their condition is very important given that the disease can be all-consuming.
What better way to reconnect with your loved one than to sit together and watch your favourite sports teams. Not only can live sport provide mental stimulation for your loved ones, but it can also encourage them to recall their favourite sporting memories of years gone by, giving them a sense of comfort and joy.
Parkinson’s disease shouldn’t be a barrier to your loved one’s passions. If they adore food and push their culinary boundaries, why not get them involved in the kitchen. Between your family, you could take it in turns to host Come Dine With Me-style evenings where family members take it, in turn, to cook and are rated on the quality of their dishes and entertainment. A little light-hearted competition can do wonders for the self-esteem of Parkinson’s sufferers.
Yoga is notoriously popular among Parkinson’s sufferers for promoting mental wellbeing, as well as physical strength and balance. Mobility and flexibility are typically affected most by the disease, so adaptive yoga can be hugely beneficial in keeping joints and muscles moving. In turn, this can assist with their mood and quality of sleep. Another benefit is that this activity can be carried out indoors during inclement weather and outdoors when the sun is shining.
Parkinson’s sufferer, Michelle told Parkinson’s UK about the benefits of gardening in terms of managing her symptoms and regaining a semblance of control in her life. Gardening can help your loved ones to appreciate the beauty of nature again, encouraging them to live in the moment and appreciate what they have positively.
If you have a loved one with Parkinson’s disease, you are not alone. There are plenty of organisations out there to provide advice and support, including:
At Cavendish Homecare, we’re also committed to offering bespoke home nursing services that offer domiciliary care for Parkinson’s sufferers. We’re here to augment the physical and emotional support that loved ones can bring, whenever you need us.