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Caring for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

Every day people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, which means there are more and more people caring for someone with Parkinson’s Disease. It is a progressive disorder of the brain that affects the central nervous system. Most people with Parkinson’s experience symptoms such as tremors or shaking in their hands and arms, slowness of movements (bradykinesia), and problems with walking, speaking, and coordination. Parkinson’s can also affect a person’s mood and sense of humor. It often affects people who are over 50 years old, but it can happen to others as well. 

It can be difficult to be in charge of caring for someone with Parkinson’s Disease and deal with all the challenges of the disease. If you don’t think you can handle it all by yourself, remember that there is no shame in hiring home care for Parkinson’s patients. It will require educating yourself about the symptoms and treatment of the disease, keeping track of their medication, and doctors’ appointments, and more. Your loved one will require a lot of support and compassion.  Listed below are 5 helpful tips anyone caring for someone with this condition should know. 

Caring for someone with Parkinson's Disease is exhausting but these tips can help!

5 Tips for Caring for Someone with Parkinson’s Disease

Learn About the Disease

If you are caring for someone with Parkinson’s, you should learn about the disease. You should educate yourself about the symptoms and different treatments. Knowing this will help you know what to expect, and how to deal with the disease on a day to day basis. This will also help you know what to expect from your loved one. You will also be able to understand how the disease affects their mood, personality, and sense of humor, and how it changes over time. This will help you manage the disease better, so it does not become overwhelming.

Be Prepared for Your Loved One’s Changes

When you are caring for someone with Parkinson’s, you should be prepared for their changes. You should expect their symptoms to get worse as time goes on. Expect physical and mental changes, and shifts in your loved one as well. You should also be prepared for the challenges of getting them to doctors’ appointments, and managing their medication. This is all normal, and will require you to be patient and compassionate with them.

Be Aware of Daily Tasks

Caring for someone with Parkinson’s can be challenging. You should become aware of their daily tasks, such as showering, dressing, eating, etc., and their medications. They will likely need assistance with these tasks, which is why you should spend as much time as possible with them. This will help you become aware of what works best for them, and help you understand what may work better in the future. Full-time care can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Hiring someone to help alleviate some of this stress is always a good idea. An in-home caregiver will also be used to writing progress notes that can become useful to refer to, to keep tabs on your loved ones’ condition. 

Manage Stress

It is important to manage your own stress while caring for someone with Parkinson’s. You should take time out for yourself to relax and de-stress. You should try to work with other family members to take turns sitting with your loved one. This will allow you time to recharge yourself and give you a break from the disease. You should also be aware of your loved one’s stress level. If they seem stressed or anxious, try to quiet things down and spend some quiet time with them so they can relax and calm down.

Understand Emotions and Moods

Caring for someone with Parkinson’s can be challenging, especially when you understand what is going on around you. If your loved one has mood swings or emotional outbursts, try to understand where it is coming from. They might be in pain or frustrated because they cannot do certain tasks anymore. They might also be stressed because they are out of their comfort zone when they are around unfamiliar people or places. Or they might be sad because they are unable to do things they love anymore. It is important to be compassionate, and try to understand where they are coming from.

Educate Yourself on Treatments

It is important to keep up to date on the most recent treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Try to stay up to date on new medications or devices that might help your loved one. If there are new treatments out there, talk with their doctor about them so they can decide if they want to try them out.

Parkinson’s disease is a condition that requires a lot of support and compassion. It is important to stay positive, and understand your loved one’s needs. Try to make it a fun experience for your loved one by doing things they love that don’t require too much movement or effort on their part. 

Final Thought: Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself!

Caring for someone with Parkinson’s is a tough job, which is why it is important to take good care of yourself. You should get plenty of rest each night, eat healthy food, and exercise often. This will help you stay energized throughout the day, and take away some of the stress you are experiencing from the disease. You should get help from other family members when you can, but allow yourself time to rest each day as well. This will help you stay positive and focused on your loved one’s care needs.