Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurological disease that affects cognition and movements. Some symptoms include balance problems, stiffness causing muscle aches, tremor, and loss of agility. As the disease progresses, seniors with Parkinson’s may also experience swallowing challenges, speech issues restlessness or difficulty writing.
No one is really prepared to be a caregiver when someone close to you has Parkinson’s disease. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with new responsibilities but offering physical and emotional support will better equip you to cope with daily obstacles.
Here is some guidance on how you can help your loved one:
- Managing medication is an important part of controlling Parkinson symptoms. We recommend keeping a record of medication and any side effects including abnormal movements, nausea, or hallucinations. Share your observations with the doctor.
- Be sure to educate yourself about symptoms, treatments, and the progression of the disease. Understanding behaviour can prepare you how to best help when the changes occur.
- Exercise is an essential therapy for seniors with Parkinson’s as it helps with building and maintaining connections in the brain. It can also help with reducing fatigue and improving mental function.
- Offering love and support is essential and can be a rewarding aspect of caregiving. Research shows that caregivers with genuine quality relationships have reduced depression and better physical health.
Caregivers must take care of themselves too. Talk openly with a friend, family member or support group and understand that you are not alone. Remember to take care of yourself, even when the physical demands of caring for a love one increases. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep are ways you can stay in control of your own wellness needs.
Please join us in raising awareness of this terrible disease. If there is a concern that you or a loved one may have any of the symptoms of early Parkinson’s, contact us. You are not alone. The experienced team at First Class Home Care can help guide you through this difficult time and answer all of your questions.