Caring for someone with Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that typically affects us as we age into our senior years. Symptoms include tremors or trembling of the hands, arms, jaws and head, slowness of movement and impaired balance. If you have a parent with Parkinson’s, you might be wondering what you can do to assist your loved one to help maintain their quality of life. Here are some tips for caregivers for Parkinson’s disease and seniors.
Learn about Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease affects a person in many different ways. Learn as much as you can about the progression of the symptoms and medications to assist your loved one and know how to help. Observe your loved one to watch for changing abilities. Listen to others who may not see your loved one as often to get insight into serious changes that gradually occur. You may notice when you’re so close.
Manage what you can but remember you can’t control everything.
Get a calendar to help remember doctor’s appointments and other schedules. Find ways to help your loved one take care of daily activities, but don’t take on every chore. You need to find balance. Seniors with Parkinson’s need to feel like they have control over their own life, too.
Help your parent get their affairs in order.
It’s never easy to talk to mom or dad about their wills, medical decisions and financials. But this is a conversation you need to have in the early stages of the disease to help them manage problems that occur as the disease progresses. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Medication can help slow the progression, but every person responds differently.
Take care of yourself.
Build a support network to help you while you care for seniors with Parkinson’s disease. Many caregivers get overwhelmed and forget to reach out to take breaks and get help. You can only care for others when you’re healthy. You don’t have to put your parent in a nursing home, but you do need to know your limits.