Caring for a senior loved one with Parkinson’s can be overwhelming, leading to stressful days. Watching your loved one’s health decrease can be challenging, but you need to remain positive and do everything possible to boost his or her quality of life. Below you’ll find a list of tips that can make caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s more comfortable for your family.
1. Encourage Independence
During the early stages, seniors with Parkinson’s can continue living an independent lifestyle, which includes moving around, participating in social outings, and handling their grooming and dressing tasks. Before you step in to help, always ask your loved one if it’s okay, and respect boundaries. Seniors living with Parkinson’s need to maintain their dignity, and your overstepping could cause your loved one anxiety and accelerate the progression of the disease. Allow your loved one to do as much as he or she can independently, and only step in when it’s a safety problem.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable homecare. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Remain Realistic
Even though you provide high-quality care, there’s no cure for this progressive degenerative disorder. As the basal ganglia and other nerve cells deep in the brain are affected, dopamine levels continue to decrease. Over time, the tremors, muscle stiffness, and mobility problems your loved one experiences may worsen. The progression of the disease can be slowed down, but it cannot be stopped entirely. Therefore, you need to maintain realistic expectations. Remember to do your best and continue providing your parent with high-quality care.
3. Be Prepared for Mood Swings
Depression is common among older adults living with Parkinson’s, and there may be times when your loved one becomes resentful. The things he or she says aren’t intentional. Mood swings are one of the symptoms of the disease. Regardless of how challenging the mood swings and other behavioral problems are, you must remain positive. Adjusting to your new role can enhance communication between you and your parent, which is vital during the caregiving process.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Philadelphia Home Care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
4. Understand Medical Coverage
Healthcare is crucial to seniors with Parkinson’s, and family caregivers need to understand the coverage for their loved ones’ immediate care needs as well as long-term issues. Obtaining adequate medical coverage can reduce many out-of-pocket expenses for older adults and their families. Seniors with this disease should have benefits that cover:
• Major surgeries
• Physical therapy
• Speech therapy
5. Join a Support Group
When your days are challenging, having someone to talk to is beneficial. You can speak about your feelings honestly and openly instead of bottling those emotions inside. You should also join a family caregiver support group, where you can interact with other caregivers who are going through similar challenges. Ask your loved one’s primary care physician if there are any active Parkinson’s support groups in the area. Joining one of these groups may provide you with the emotional and practical support you need.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Philadelphia families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (215) 645-4663.