How to Care for a Loved One with Parkinson’s Disease
Acting as the primary caregiver for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can be a challenge. Although a diagnosis brings significant changes to both of your lives, you can move forward with a positive outlook by following a strategic care plan.
Learn About the Condition
The more you know about Parkinson’s disease, the better equipped you’ll be to help your loved one. Talk with his or her doctors about:
• Potential symptoms
• Available and emerging treatment options
• Long-term prognosis
Also, ask for resource recommendations so that you have something to refer to if you have questions after you get back home.
Consider enlisting the help of professional in-home caregivers, to provide specialized support as the disease progresses.
Create a Schedule
Get a calendar or planner, and write out all of your loved one’s doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, and prescription renewal dates. List timing and dosage for each medication he or she is taking, and use alarms or timers to ensure no pills are missed.
Keep pertinent phone numbers close at hand in case of emergencies or to get quick answers to medical questions.
Keep an Eye on Symptoms
Your loved one will face different physical and emotional challenges throughout the various stages of Parkinson’s disease. Be on the lookout for changes in the way he or she behaves and for new or worsening symptoms.
Signs of depression and other alterations in mood are common, so it’s important for you as the caregiver to be prepared to deal with any emotional reactions your loved one may experience as the disease progresses.
Get Support for Yourself
Being a caregiver is a tough job, and nobody should try to handle the responsibilities in isolation.
Find and join a local Parkinson’s support group so that you always have people to whom you can reach out when things get hard. Others dealing with similar challenges can offer care advice, point you to knowledgeable doctors, or simply listen when you need to talk.
If you need respite or additional help in caring for your loved one with Parkinson’s disease, Caring Home Care is here for you. Our certified in-home caregivers can help with fall prevention, bathing, toileting, meal preparation, transportation, medical care, and more. We’re here to help your loved one remain in his or her own home while ensuring a high quality of life. Learn more today!