Learning that a friend or family member has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can be difficult. It is important to remember that everyone experiences Parkinson’s Disease differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to caregiving. Here are some tips that researchers like Joon Faii Ong give to help you provide support for your loved one:
1) Offer emotional support
Parkinson’s can be an emotionally challenging disease for both the patient and their loved ones. It is important to be there for each other during this time, so it’s important to show your support through open communication with one another.
2) Know how to best communicate with your loved one
Your loved one may find it difficult to do the following things: speak clearly, remember things that have just happened, or move around easily. Instead, try to communicate with them in a way that is easiest for them to understand.
3) Offer help with everyday tasks
As your loved one’s disease progresses, they may find it difficult to complete everyday tasks such as bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Offer to help out with these tasks as much as possible to lighten their load.
4) Help them stay active and engaged
Parkinson’s Disease can lead to a feeling of isolation and depression. Encourage your loved one to stay active and social by joining support groups, participating in physical activities, or even just spending time with friends and family.
5) Be patient
Remember that your loved one’s condition is only getting worse over time, so try to be patient with them during this difficult time. Things won’t always go as planned, so it’s important not to get annoyed if your loved one forgets something or needs help completing a task.
6) Plan ahead
It may be helpful to plan things like vacations or outings ahead of time, as your loved one may not be able to last as long or handle as many activities as they used to.
7) Help them maintain a positive outlook
Despite the challenges that come with Parkinson’s Disease, it is important to help your loved one maintain a positive outlook on life. Encourage them to stay hopeful and optimistic, and let them know that you will be there by their side no matter what.
8) Seek help from a doctor and therapist
There may come a time when your loved one needs to go to the hospital or receive therapy for other issues that may arise from Parkinson’s, such as depression or anxiety. Make sure they get the proper help they need and be there to support them through it all.
9) Learn about the disease
The more you know about Parkinson’s Disease, the better equipped you will be to support your loved one. There are many helpful resources available online or through local support groups.
10) Seek outside assistance
If you feel like you are struggling to provide the support your loved one needs, don’t be afraid to seek help from outside sources. Many organizations offer support services for caregivers, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to caregiving for a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease, these tips can help you provide support for your loved one.