Parkinson’s disease affects so many aspects of a person’s daily life. From the various symptoms of poor balance, tremors to rigid movements, these symptoms of Parkin’s disease gradually get worse over time as the disease progresses. The symptoms of the disease will vary from day to day as your loved one can function normal on some days and other times they will be quite dependent on you. With the right planning and moderation in activity, you can help lessen the effects of Parkinson’s disease for your loved one as this disease can be unpredictable.
With caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, you will need to help them maintain their quality of life, keep track of their appointments and medications and offer your love and support to help them meet the challenges of this disease. The role of a caregiver, especially for Parkinson’s disease, is not an easy task. Whether you are there to listen to your loved one or help preserve their quality of life, we have some suggestions for how you can help your love one manage their Parkinson’s disease.
- Educate yourself about Parkinson’s disease. It is important to learn the symptoms, how the condition progresses and the types of treatments that can help manage it. You will understand better with what you can expect with the disease. Parkinson’s is a complex disease that you will benefit researching and educating yourself about.
- Help them get out of the house. Parkinson’s disease is a condition that makes one feel lonely and isolated. Especially in these times of isolation, it is important to help your loved one get out of the house. It is important that you research before you take them anywhere in order to verify that the location has a ramp or elevator.
- Offer your loved one a listening ear. Parkinson’s disease is an unpredictable and degenerative condition. It is common for people with Parkinson’s disease to have depression and anxiety. Encouraging your love one by listening to them talk through their various emotions can help them not feel alone. Empathy and a listening ear can go a long way.
- Have patience with them. From taking your loved one out of the house to listening to them talk, it may sometimes require patience. It is important to listen and smile and not rush them when they are talking or moving around.
- Take care of yourself. You need to take time for yourself to relax as a caregiver. It is important to not put your life on hold. Energize and recharge your emotional battery by continuing to meet up with friends and live your life as normal as possible.
- Get additional help. At various times, you may need to enlist the additional help of your friends and family to assist you in providing care for them. It is also a great idea to hire someone to help if you need an additional caregiver from time to time.
- Don’t do everything for them. They will definitely have days of being able to do normal activities, such as grooming or getting dressed. Be flexible to know if they are able to do certain tasks independently before you step in to assist them.
- Learn to communicate with them. It can be challenging for your loved one to communicate with Parkinson’s disease. Talk to them face-to-face so that they can see you talking. It is very helpful to talk with them in “yes” or “no” questions. If you are struggling with understanding them, ask them to repeat what they said or spell the word out that you did not understand them say.
- Go with them to the doctor. Go with your loved one to the doctor to be able to take notes and ask questions for them. You may also want to familiarize yourself with their insurance coverage so you understand how their prescription coverage plan works.