Tips For Caring For Someone With Parkinson’s Disease: When caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, it is normal to feel overwhelmed at times. It can be frightening to watch as a loved one suffers from this degenerative condition. However, there are many ways you can help ease their burden and make life easier for both of you. And if your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the home must feel like a strange and unfamiliar place. But that doesn’t mean that you have to stop caring for them entirely.
There are small changes that you can make in their home environment that will reduce their stressors and make life much simpler for everyone involved. Parkinson’s disease is a serious condition impacting approximately 10 million people around the world. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with Parkinson’s can live full and happy lives. Here are some tips on how to care for someone with Parkinson’s effectively and efficiently:
Communicate with your loved one constantly
Communication is key in any relationship, but it is especially important when caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s. Those diagnosed with this condition experience a degeneration of the nerves in the brain that control movement. As a result, many experience cognitive impairments, including difficulty with speech and language.
When your family member is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you may find that they withdraw from social interactions as they deal with the stress of adjusting to their new reality. In many cases, those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s are afraid of being a burden to others and want to retreat from the world entirely. But you can help your loved one stay engaged with the world by talking with them constantly.
You may find that they are not able to communicate their needs and desires verbally, but they may be able to use some form of non-verbal communication. For example, you may want to purchase a talking newspaper that your loved one can use to communicate their thoughts and feelings. You can also try communicating using signs, symbols, and emojis.
Organize a care team to help you
When caring for someone with Parkinson’s, you may find challenging to meet their needs and those of the rest of the family. It can be difficult to find time to shower or eat whenever you want to. And it can be even more difficult to find time to perform the tasks that your loved one needs.
You may want to consider bringing in a home care team to help you meet your loved one’s needs and free up your time. Although this can be expensive, it may be worth the expense if it gives you additional time to focus on other things. Additionally, a home care team can help you communicate your loved one’s needs more effectively. They may also be able to assist with medications, which is an important task that someone with Parkinson’s struggles with.
Do not try to do everything yourself
When caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, it can be easy to feel as though you need to do everything for them. You may want to change their clothes, fix their meals, or perform other tasks that should be left to other people. Although you want to help your loved one as much as possible, you cannot do everything for them.
Your loved one may want to retain as much of their independence as possible. They may also be able to perform certain tasks that seem impossible to you. In addition, you must remember that your loved one may not have the same physical strength and dexterity as before their diagnosis. You may employ simple strategies, such as using reusable clothes instead of a washing machine. You can also try hiring Parkinson’s caregivers to assist with certain tasks.
Implement helpful home automation technologies
When caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, you may find that your loved one has trouble pressing buttons and using knobs. You may wish to install easy-to-use light switches and door handles, or a button-pushing device. Such devices may be programmed to work with your loved one’s light bulbs and appliances. You can also program lights to turn off at certain times of day and equip appliances with sensors that turn them off when they are not in use.
You can also install voice-activated home assistants, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home device, to assist with communication. These devices can be used to send messages to loved ones and answer questions about the home environment. You can also program them to play music, check the weather, and control your smart home devices.
Provide a safe and secure environment
When caring for someone with Parkinson’s, you may want to make minor changes to the home environment to reduce your loved one’s stressors. These changes can include moving furniture, rearranging rooms, and installing safety rails in high-risk areas. You may also want to install sensors and cameras in your loved one’s home to help monitor their situation. You can use these sensors to sound alarms and detect when your loved one is having trouble.
Caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease can be stressful and difficult, but it does not have to be. By following the tips in this article, you can make life easier for both you and your loved one. In most cases, managing Parkinson’s is a manageable condition that can be treated with medication. As your loved one deals with their diagnosis, you want to make sure that you are doing all you can to help them cope with their symptoms. You can assist them with medications, provide a safe and secure environment for them to live in and make their life easier by making changes to their home.