How to help a loved one live with Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological deterioration that affects motor skills, but this illness doesn’t stop there. It also causes huge emotional changes that loved ones have to be prepared for. Knowing how to help a loved one live with Parkinson’s is vital, because they will need lots of support as their disease advances.
Tips for supporting someone with Parkinson’s
-Learn everything you can about this disease so you know what to expect and how to prepare yourself. Being informed will help you put yourself in your loved one’s shoes and understand how they feel.
-Offer to go to the doctor with them and be there to support and help them.
-Encourage your loved one to exercise: Some physical exercises can help relieve tension and improve flexibility and resistance, which can be helpful for those who are struggling with Parkinson’s. Talk to a doctor so they can tell you the best exercises to do.
-Moving things around may help your loved one live fuller. If they have trouble opening boxes, you can put things in bowls or containers that are easier to open.
-Help them with a diet so they can keep their body healthy. See a nutritionist and go with your loved one to the supermarket so they can get everything they need.
-Ask for help from a physical therapist so they can show you how to give massages. Back massages may be helpful for relieving back pain and tired muscles.
-Remove objects that may cause accidents and adapt their house to conform to their needs, making sure that they live in a safe environment.
-Go with them to support groups. These meetings can be very helpful, because it allows the person suffering to talk to and relate to other people who are going through the same situation.
-Don’t help them too much. You have to let them do things for themselves. If you do everything for them, they won’t learn how to live with their disease and they may feel like their life is being taken from them. Be patient and encourage them without being overbearing.
-Parkinson’s disease usually comes with depressive symptoms. If you see your loved one entering into a depression, see a specialist to learn how to handle it.
-Be patient when you’re talking to them, because talking may be difficult sometimes. Ask them how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, and give them time to respond. It’s important that they try even though it may be difficult.
-Be brave and realize when you need help taking care of your loved one. It may be necessary, at some point, to bring them somewhere where they can receive care that you can’t give them. It depends on the situation, but if they can’t be independent and you can’t take care of them all day, you need to make the best decision for your loved one.
This post is also available in: Spanish