When a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it feels like your entire world is crashing down. There is confusion, anger, anxiety, and a sea of emotions, but after some time, it becomes clear that it is time to face the challenge head-on. You gradually start taking care of your loved one and learn the nuances of caregiving. Since Parkinson’s is a progressive disease with no cure, the symptoms are likely to become worse with time. Eventually, you will have to take more caregiving responsibilities which can be challenging and stressful. You have to make sincere efforts to handle all the needs of your loved one and at the same time, managing your own physical and emotional well-being.
Here are some tips that will help you to take care of your loved one with Parkinson’s Disease.
To make yourself more capable to help your loved one, try to read more about the disease. Ask a neurologist or have information from credible online resources such as the Parkinson’s Foundation, American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA), and so on.
Since Parkinson’s disease may cause speech issues, your loved one may face challenges in explaining what he or she needs. So, listen carefully and ask questions that demand little elaboration. Do not forget to express your love while communicating with your loved one.
Make things organized
Day-to-day caregiving to a loved one with Parkinson’s disease can become stressful. You may have to drive your loved one to appointments, manage the medical prescriptions, keep a detailed record of any behavioral change, and so on. So, make all things organized or else your life will be thrown out of gear soon. Learn to prioritize your tasks. Keep a weekly to-do list and follow a set schedule for all the activities from bathing, eating, medication, and so on.
Ask for support
Sometimes, caregiving can become overwhelming. You may start to neglect your own needs because of no time or fatigue. So, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your friends and family members. You deserve to enjoy small breaks each day.
Also, you must eat a balanced diet. Practice yoga and meditation daily to remain stress-free. Also, try to find a Parkinson’s caregiver support or join a community of caregivers. There are plenty of free caregiver resources over the web that can help you in your caregiving journey.