Does What Your Aging Parent Eats Make an Impact on Their Parkinson’s Disease?

If you are a family caregiver for one of the million people throughout the United States currently living with Parkinson’s disease, it is likely that ways to help them manage their condition is something you think about frequently. You want to make sure that your aging parents can live the fullest, most fulfilling quality of life as they age in place, and that means helping them to cope with their symptoms and stay as healthy as possible. One way that you might not immediately think of is their diet. There are many other factors that go into effectively managing Parkinson’s disease, and your parents diet can make a tremendous difference.

Senior Care in Rockford MI: Nutrition and Parkinson's Disease

Senior Care in Rockford MI: Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease

Some ways that what your aging parent eats can make an impact on their Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Make sure that they are eating a full range of food. Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods from all food groups will ensure that their body gets all of the nutrients that it needs to function as effectively as possible. Discourage them from following popular diets or restricting any food group not specifically recommended by their doctor.
  • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These will give a full variety of vitamins and minerals, aid in healthy digestion, and limit calories.
  • Limit sugar and sodium intake. Talk to their doctor about how much of these elements is healthy for your parent. Diets high in sugar and sodium increase the risk for a variety of serious health issues including high blood pressure, diabetes, tooth decay, and more, and can diminish health for a senior with PD.
  • Encourage plenty of water.
  • Emphasize getting enough fiber if your parent struggles with bowel symptoms.
  • Limit or eliminate caffeine as this can worsen sleep disruptions.
  • Support brain health and function by eating nuts full of healthy fat and fatty acids. Walnuts and cashews are particularly beneficial.
  • Introduce foods with antioxidants, such as dark leafy greens. These have an anti-inflammatory effect that can protect the joints.


Starting senior care for your aging parents can be one of the best decisions that you make for them during their later years. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they have continued access to the level of care, support, and assistance that is right for them. Through a set of highly personalized services this care provider will help your parent address their individual challenges, needs, and limitations. They will also help your parent to pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as possible as they age in place. As their family caregiver, this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that your parents will be able to live their highest quality of life while also staying happy, healthy, and comfortable.

If you or someone you know needs help with senior care in Rockford, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.



About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.