Parkinson’s disease (PD) isn’t always preventable. Still, there are certain lifestyle factors that can contribute to the development of this nervous system disorder. The good news is that some of these factors are controllable to some extent. For this reason, there are natural steps seniors can take to reduce their risk of experiencing long-term issues with Parkinson’s disease.
According to the results of a study conducted at the University of Guelph, low-level exposure to pesticides may affect cells in a way that’s similar to the mutations associated with PD. There’s also evidence some people with PD have elevated levels of herbicides in their brains. Reduce the risk of this type of exposure by going organic with locally sourced food that’s not heavily treated.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Opt for Fresh Veggies
Fresh vegetables are beneficial for seniors looking to prevent Parkinson’s disease naturally because they often contain high amounts of folic acid, an essential B vitamin. Studies suggest complex B vitamins may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Reliable sources of beneficial B vitamins include:
- Broccoli and spinach
- Collard greens and Brussels sprouts
- Asparagus and okra
- Avocados, legumes, and lentils
Include Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Diet
Because Parkinson’s disease is considered inflammatory in nature, researchers looking into prevention methods have looked at ways to encourage natural inflammation control. One way this may be done is with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.
A 2008 Canadian study found that omega-3 fatty acids helped with maintaining optimal levels of dopamine, a chemical that helps with nerve connections in the brain. Good natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other “fatty” fish
- Walnuts and other nuts and seeds
- Plant oils
Professional caregivers can be a terrific source of support and information about healthy lifestyle habits for seniors. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Dallas, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Increase Vitamin D Intake
There’s research showing lower levels of vitamin D in some seniors with early-stage Parkinson’s. The link between vitamin D and PD isn’t fully understood, but this vital nutrient does help with the absorption of calcium, which makes bones stronger and healthier. Ultimately, the healthier someone is, the more likely he or she is to have a reduced risk of developing conditions such as PD. Vitamin D offers additional health benefits, including:
- Increased immunity
- A lower risk of developing osteoporosis (“brittle bone” disease)
- Added protection against dementia
- Increased energy
There are two main sources of vitamin D—natural sunlight and animal fat. Seniors can also get more vitamin D from cereals and other fortified foods, cheese, beef liver, and egg yolks.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is good for overall physical health, and it’s especially beneficial for the brain. A University of Illinois study found a clear link between regular aerobic exercise and cognitive health. PD can affect cognitive functions, and regular exercise can be an effective natural way to keep the brain as healthy as possible.
Fortunately, there are many fun and engaging forms of exercise that can be safe and enjoyable for older adults. Some of these include:
• Regular walking
• Aerobic gym exercises (e.g., using a stationary bike or elliptical machine)
• Spinning, Zumba, and other aerobic group workouts
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Dallas families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400 to learn more about our high-quality Parkinson’s home care services.