How to Care for Someone With Parkinson's

How to Care for Someone With Parkinson's

How to Care for Someone With Parkinson's

When a loved one has Parkinson’s disease, you want to jump in to help and provide care for them. But what does that mean?

Joyful Companions knows that not everyone is born to be a caregiver, so we wanted to provide some tips on caring for someone with Parkinson’s. Whether that person is a spouse or other family member, it is important to follow certain guidelines when caring for them to help ease the potential strain.

Let’s look at a few ways to improve care for someone with Parkinson’s.

Be Honest

One pitfall of becoming a caregiver to a family member is the dynamic of “nurse” and “helpless patient.” This mindset is unproductive and can be harmful to both involved. This can happen particularly when the caregiver tries to take over all the activities that someone with Parkinson’s can still do.

That’s why honesty is the best policy. Try to keep an open dialogue between you and your family member for tough conversations, such as when your loved one truly needs help.

Keep Yourself Educated

If you are taking on the caregiver role for someone with Parkinson’s, educating yourself on the disease and its likely progression is the best thing you can do. Some non-profits can help, such as the National Parkinson Foundation.

If your loved one is being cared for by a hospital system, they will also have literature available for you to understand the disease. Because Parkinson’s is a complex disease, getting accurate information is important. Sometimes, a difficulty arises when you might expect one thing to happen, but something else happens instead.

Keeping yourself educated on what to do can help you cope with changes in your loved one.

Attend the Doctor’s Appointments

If your loved one can still get to and from doctor’s appointments, it’s important for you to tag along. You can ask questions, take notes, and share insight into different symptoms and behaviors, like sleeping problems or mood disorders.

There are some things your loved one might not bring up for a variety of reasons, but doctors need to know everything to provide exceptional care. That’s where you can help.

One tip is to keep a calendar with all appointments with physicians and therapists. You can also use it to keep track of medications and watch for side effects.

Don’t Lag On Insurance

You should take the time to familiarize yourself with your loved one’s insurance so that you can stay on top of claims and co-pays. You’ll need to know which prescriptions their plan covers, along with therapy sessions and other unexpected costs.

Observe Everything

Make sure you are observant about everything, from changes in symptoms and abilities to moods. Carefully note any changes you notice, particularly after medications or therapy.

A person with Parkinson’s can still do many things with you, such as housework, going out with friends, and other normal activities. But subtle changes can happen that they might not notice, such as when driving should be stopped or if they are a fall risk.

This is where honesty comes in: You should talk to your loved one about these things as they arise, even if it’s a hard conversation to have.

Be Flexible

Don’t expect every day to be the same. Symptoms can come and go, so it’s important to be patient and flexible. Try to allow your loved one the best possible chance to complete certain tasks that they are able to do before stepping in and feeling frustrated.

Keep the conversation open to eliminating things from your loved one’s plate, such as bill paying or yard work. It’s important to avoid miscommunication, so be clear about what you think and be patient with your loved one’s response.

Monitor Medications

If your loved one begins to forget medications, it’s vital that you help them. In order to make sure that they’re taking their daily medications, choose a tool that will help both you and your loved one keep track. It can be as simple as a smartphone reminder or a wall calendar.

Consistency with medications is very important to your loved one’s life.

Consider Non-Medical Home Care

You’re going to need a break if you’re caring for a loved one full-time. That’s where non-medical home care comes in. Organizations like Joyful Companions can provide a non-medical caregiver to relieve you of your duties at various times throughout the week.

Respite care is important to maintain your personal health and well-being. Joyful Companions can help care for your loved one while you take some time for yourself to rejuvenate. Our companions can do many different tasks, such as aiding your loved one with cooking, light housekeeping, transportation, and even just someone else for your loved one to talk to.

We can provide 24/7, round-the-clock care and support if needed, and our companions are extensively trained and experienced. You can even receive a respite care benefit fund for reimbursement for our care through the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Joyful Companions Is Ready to Help!

Built on compassion, Joyful Companions is available to help care for your loved one in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are a family owned company that believes in providing peace of mind to family members. Just as your loved one asks for help, you can ask for help.

Joyful Companions will be there to assist. Give us a call today at 763-544-0401 or send us a message on our website for more information.