Caring for a Loved One With Parkinson’s Disease
Maintaining a high quality of life for your loved one with Parkinson’s disease requires determination and education. This includes understanding the various stages of the disease and how you can help your loved one manage through the symptoms. Whether you are simply keeping track of doctor appointments and medications or actively involved in day-to-day support, here are suggestions for caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease.
Help With Tasks Requiring Fine Motor Skills
Some of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease are the tremors and balance problems that quickly become a part of daily life, and make it difficult for sufferers to perform fine motor tasks such as buttoning shirts and flossing. Helping your loved one find options that can work around their disease allows them to become more self-sufficient, such as shirts that can slip over their head or water-based cleaning devices.
Creating a Welcoming Environment
Anytime you have a long-term disease such as Parkinson’s, often the best thing you can do is make life as normal as possible for your loved one. Talk about things other than the symptoms they are experiencing. Get them out of the house for a quick trip — even if you’re only going out for ice cream or to have a picnic. A quick walk around an outdoor park may be just the thing to raise their spirits and also helps with managing their disease.
Be Aware of Symptom Changes
When you see someone every day, you may not notice that symptoms are changing over time. Be conscious and aware of any shifts in their movement or speech, and don’t hesitate to contact their caregivers if you feel the symptoms are worsening dramatically or you see other problems occur. It may be helpful to engage speech or physical therapists to help your loved one retain a greater range of motion and communication as their disease progresses.
Helping your loved one is important, but it can easily sap your strength and energy. Whether you need support for a day away or ongoing help, contact the professionals at Santé today at 480-563-2402. We provide long and short-term care for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses and offer compassionate support when you need it. Visit one of our four locations today to learn more.