The Challenges of Parkinson’s Care: Tips For The Primary Caregiver
Taking care of someone with a chronic, debilitating disease is difficult. Caregiving is a 24/7 job and, as the disease progresses, it becomes more demanding.
The demands of caring for someone with a disease such as Parkinson’s are constantly changing. Meeting these challenges requires attention and organization.
While we recognize that many healthcare professionals won’t find themselves in the role of primary caregiver, we wanted to share this resource so that you have the knowledge and tools necessary to help those you interact with who might be filling that role.
The Michael J Fox Foundation and the Partners in Parkinson’s have both come up with tips for the primary caregiver of patients with Parkinson’s disease. Below is an outline and discussion of those guides.
It is important to stay in touch with yourself by pursuing your own interests and keeping active. Asking family and friends for help or finding professional in-home care, can give you time to reenergize and refresh.
As a caregiver, keeping track of all the details associated with medical care can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help:
Discuss important plans and decisions for the future. Talk about wills, advanced directives, and other life issues. Talk about the future. This is a difficult topic to broach, but it’s important that you understand what your loved one wants further down the line.
Discuss these important decisions early in the disease process when the patient can make a contribution with clarity.
Look after yourself. In order to be able to look after your loved one, you need to be physically and emotionally well. Take time off — it’s important to unwind and de-stress. Ask other family members and friends to help out or look into hiring professional care. Spend some time doing something you enjoy and take your mind off things for a few hours.
Join a support group. Find out if there are any active support groups in your local area. If not, then look online for a support group for caregivers of Parkinson’s disease patients. This will give you both practical and emotional support and you will be able to ask advice and share your experience with others who are going through the same thing.
If you wish to read more about the topic, please click the following links to learn more:
At AAACEUs, we offer a course on Parkinson's. If you wish to learn more, we encourage you to take a look: