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Does Exercise Impact Cognitive Abilities in People with Parkinson’s?

It’s been established for a while that exercise is good for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) because it helps with their physical symptoms.
In fact, it is considered a major component in the treatment of PD because it improves their quality of life. However, researchers in Germany wondered if exercise might also benefit PD patients in terms of their cognitive abilities. What they found is encouraging.

Home Care in Buckeye AZ: Exercise and Parkinson’s

Home Care in Buckeye AZ: Exercise and Parkinson’s


About the Study

To determine the effect exercise might have on cognition in PD, the researchers looked at the existing body of evidence from past studies on PD and exercise. They analyzed the data from 11 studies which used a combined total of 508 participants who all had PD. 5 of the studies indicated that engaging in aerobic exercise improved the memory of people with PD. They also showed that when people combined exercises that worked on coordination with resistance exercises, they received cognitive benefits.


What Kind of Exercise Is Best?

The researchers are quick to point out that the results of their review aren’t conclusive and don’t indicate how specific kinds of exercise will impact cognition in people with PD. However, experts in the field of PD do have recommendations about the kinds of exercise that are generally beneficial and safe. For example, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research suggests that “The best exercise is one that is safe, enjoyable and that pushes [the PD patient].”


Exercise routines for people with PD should contain some of the same elements that others should include, such as:

  • Stretching exercises.
  • Aerobic activity.
  • Strengthening exercises.


There are many kinds of exercise that include some or all of these elements and are safe for people with PD. Some kinds of exercise your aging relative could try are:

    • Riding a stationary bicycle.
    • Walking—either on a treadmill or not.
    • Swimming.
    • Yoga.
    • Tai chi.
    • Dance.
    • Boxing, though without contact.


Before the senior tries a new form of exercise, it’s a good idea to talk to their doctor.
Since PD affects people differently, some forms of exercise may be better for your aging relative’s abilities than others. Keep trying different kinds of exercise until they find one they enjoy and can stick with.

Home care can help your aging relative to get more exercise, too. If your loved one prefers walking for exercise, a home care provider can walk with them to ensure they don’t fall. If they like walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike, a home care provider can drive them to the gym to use the equipment. Home care providers can also watch over the senior while they exercise to make sure they don’t overdo it and stay safe.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Buckeye, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819





Steve and Christie Kramer

Steve and Christie Kramer decided to start Blessings! for Seniors after Steves experience with his mothers care several years earlier. He found it difficult to find reliable care for his mother following an accident in which she needed full-time care for a year. Communication was spotty and since he was out of state, this was a major concern.

Blessings! for Seniors is based upon the kind of care he wanted for his mother. He wants to give to families the same care, concern and communication he sought to receive.

Established in 2005, Blessings! has an enviable track record of serving seniors and is a member in good standing of the Arizona Non-Medical Homecare Association (ASNHA).

Steve Kramer has a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and founded a business in Michigan called Home Bound Services, in which he worked with the Area Agency for Aging to provide services for seniors on Medicaid.

After moving to Arizona he worked for the State of Arizona as a Vocational and Rehabilitation Counselor.

As part of founding Blessings! he undertook training and certification as a Certified Senior Advisor, which is a professional certifying organization based in Colorado.

Steve is serving as Executive Director of Living Solutions for Seniors, a non-profit whose mission is to work with underserved older adults and individuals with disabilities to provide independence through education, resources and services.

He is Secretary of the Board for the Southwest Lending Closet, a non-profit organization that lends medical equipment to those in need. Plus, he is a member of the Goodyear White Tanks Rotary.

Christie Kramer is due to receive her Master of Social Work, with a concentration in Direct Practice: Adult Behavioral Health and Gerontology Certificate from Arizona State University in May 2013.

Her work experience includes serving as Research Aide to ASUs Assistant Professor Robin Bonifas, PhD on the latters senior bullying and resident aggression studies. The prior years student internship was with the Area Agency on Aging Region One, in which she learned about many of the agency's sixty different programs.

Christie is currently interning at Banner Alzheimers Institute and is immersed in supporting older adults as they manage the daily reality of living with a memory disorder. Over the past five years, she has volunteered with local organizations such as the Alzheimers Association, Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (MEAPA), Arizona Caregiver Coalition, and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition (MEBHAC).

Steve and Christie reside in Goodyear, AZ. They have five children, two adults living out of State, two attending ASU and one at Desert Edge High School.