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How to Manage Dining Out with an Aging Adult with Parkinson’s

Dining out at a restaurant with your aging loved one is a great way to socialize and reinforce your relationship. However, if your loved one has Parkinson’s, these trips can be quite challenging. Limited mobility and dexterity can result in long waits, messes, and uncomfortable situations if you don’t plan ahead. Here are a few ways to make the dining experience comfortable and stress-free for your loved one.

Find the Right Place to Eat

Even though most restaurants have strict regulations on accessibility, it is a good idea to call ahead and ask a few questions just to be sure of the layout. During your call, you might also want to ask about wait times and when they are the busiest. Seniors who have limited mobility shouldn’t stand out in the sun for long periods or weave through tables in a packed dining room. Your loved one might have dietary restrictions as well, another variable that must be taken into consideration. 

Consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist your loved one when going on outings. Las Vegas home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Inspect the Place Beforehand

You should try to inspect the restaurant’s entrances, bathrooms, and dining rooms whenever possible. If your loved one is in a wheelchair, the chairs and tables need to be at least 28” apart. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there must also be at least 27” of knee clearance under the table. Just because a restaurant meets these requirements doesn’t necessarily mean it will be comfortable for your loved one, and scouting the area before you go can give you peace of mind.

Get There Early

Arriving at the restaurant early gives you time to look around as well as eat at a leisurely pace. An early arrival also gives the restaurant’s employees time to make special arrangements with the seating or the food. In the later stages of Parkinson’s, many seniors feel uncomfortable trying to communicate with strangers. You might need to read the menu to your loved one so he or she can decide what to eat. Most restaurants are very accommodating of patrons who have disabilities.

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Las Vegas, NV, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. 

Bring Special Utensils

Parkinson’s disease can make eating difficult. Every senior with Parkinson’s is slightly different, so you and your loved one will need to address these issues well before you arrive at the restaurant. In many cases, simple changes such as replacing rigid straws with bendable ones can prevent accidents. You should also consider investing in utensils that have been designed for people with limited dexterity. Utensils with larger handles and heads can be beneficial to seniors who have tremors.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Las Vegas, NV, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If your aging loved one needs assistance with daily activities, call one of our professional Care Managers at (702) 550-3185.