Like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. This means that the patient’s condition and symptoms get worse as the disease progresses. Parkinson’s disease can affect people in a number of ways, particularly affecting their movement, including:
- Balance problems
- Posture changes
- Slow movements
- Decreased mobility
If you’re in the position of caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease, then we’ve got some tips to help you support them.
Understand the condition
If your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you might still be learning about what it is and what it means for them. It helps to research the condition, its symptoms, medications, and other factors. There are lots of great resources online to help you understand and come to terms with Parkinson’s Disease. Knowing the symptoms can help you identify if their condition is worsening.
Keep them active
The kind of activities you can take part in with your loved one will depend on the progression of their condition, but it is important to try to keep them active. Get outside and go for a walk at least a few times a week if it’s possible. Not only will the exercise help, but so will the fresh air. And getting out of the house regularly will also keep their spirits up.
Managing their medication
Parkinson’s patients can have pretty complex medication regimens to keep up with. Try to develop a system that helps you and them stay on top of this regimen. Taking too much or too little can worsen their condition and even be dangerous. Pillboxes help to organize different medications for different days, and setting alarms on your phone can help to remind you both.
Be there for them
Nobody’s perfect, but the fact that you’re there to support them through this difficult time means everything. It’s important that you listen to them, be patient with their condition and symptoms, and try to maintain a sense of normalcy wherever possible. Keep up with old routines and hobbies that they enjoy to help improve their emotional wellbeing.
Give yourself a break
Caregiving is not an easy job, and it can be all the more difficult if it’s not actually your job. It’s important to focus on yourself as well as on your loved one, ensuring you have time to yourself to rest, relax, and enjoy yourself. Looking after both your mental and physical health is not only important for your own wellbeing, but it will also make you a better carer.
Make sure you have a support system you can rely on. If you need a break, ask friends or family members for their support or consider alternative options such as assisted living or respite care.
If you need any support with caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease in Winston Salem, Bermuda Run, Clemmons, or Lewisville, then contact Brookstone of Clemmons for our advice and support.