Practical Tips for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Parkinson’s Disease

Whether you find yourself in a new role as a caregiver to someone with Parkinson’s Disease or you’ve been on the caregiver journey for years, you’re a part of a community of caregivers who know what you’re feeling and how difficult it can be. 

Caregiver is a dynamic role. While it is often challenging and can sometimes be frustrating, caregivers can show compassion, love, and empathy. 

Every situation is unique with Parkinson’s, yet there is some very practical advice that is universally applicable for caregivers:

You can spend quality time together by finding ways to do it.

As caregivers, it is easy to fall into a routine where every interaction is based on meeting your loved one’s medical needs. Both the caregivers and patients will be able to benefit from creative ways to expand those interactions beyond just spending quality time together.

This might look like sitting outside together talking about a book or tv show you’re enjoying. Perhaps it’s sharing a meal together outside the home that someone else has prepared. Even the little things like a quick chat about an upcoming trip or sharing an old favorite story can help you both remember how your relationship began and why it’s important to you.

Receive Help from Other People

Caregivers often find it difficult to accept assistance from others, whether they are unable to care for their loved ones 100% of the time or lack of trust. 

It is important to have a rest. This not only provides you with mental and physical rest but also allows your loved one to have a break and gives them something to look forward too. 

Many community facilities offer respite and short-term support to give companionship. nursing servicesYou can choose to do one or the other. If you are in need of a break from your family members, friends in the neighborhood, and group support networks can all be helpful. 

Make sure you take good care of yourself

Caregivers should ensure that you take care of yourself. Some people might think this means a routine exercise program and healthy eating habits that support your immune system. For others, getting a consistent good night’s sleep might be the most important factor in staying alert and healthy during your time as a caregiver

It can feel selfish to place your own needs first. Talk to others who have experienced similar situations.

Take advantage of every resource you have

The Parkinson’s FoundationNearly 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Every year approximately 60,000 Americans become diagnosed. 

There are many resources that caregivers can use to assist with this sometimes difficult journey. Home repairs, such as making your home more accessible or removing any obstacles in the way it is designed to work. insoles for Parkinson’s patientsTo improve balance and make it easier for people with Parkinson’s disease, you should use all of the tools at your disposal. 

Take care of your mental and emotional health.

While it’s important to take care of your physical health, the emotional and mental health needs of caregivers are equally as critical. Feelings of isolation and overwhelm are often reported among caregivers so it’s important to check-in with yourself regularly and do a mental scan of how you’re feeling.

Experts recommend keeping an emotional journal and taking part in individual or group therapy to maintain your mental strength. This will help ensure that you can continue to care for loved ones into the future.