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Tips for First-Time Parkinson’s Caregivers

Caring for a senior with Parkinson’s disease can be an unfamiliar and overwhelming experience for a family member, but understanding the condition and knowing what to expect plays a critical role in making the process manageable for all involved. The following information, presented by the Greenwich in-home care experts at Home Care Assistance, can help first time caregivers prepare for their future responsibilities, ultimately helping to ensure safety and comfort for their parent, grandparent or loved one with Parkinson’s.

Meeting New Care Needs

Parkinson’s disease causes numerous physical and emotional changes that can greatly impact a senior’s ability to perform daily activities. Initial physical symptoms of PD may be mild, but they often grow progressively worse, limiting the person’s ability to manage independently. Tremors and slower movements will require you to allow your loved one the time it takes to get through daily tasks. Getting in a car or tub, for example, may take much longer than it once did. Allowing your loved one to do these activities on their own (so long as they are still safe) will be instrumental in helping your loved one maintain as much independence as possible.

Participation in physical and occupational therapies, doctor’s appointments and surgery may also be part of the caregiving process. Along with scheduling medical appointments and making sure your loved one has reliable transportation to and from each appointment, you will likely be in charge of new medications. Be sure to make a list of all medications with the name, dosage and when the medication should be taken to ensure your loved one’s safety. If you are unable to assist your loved one with these new care needs, consider help from a professional part-time or live-in caregiver in Greenwich who can assist with daily activities, provide reliable transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments, offer medication reminders and so much more.

Managing Emotional Responses

The loss of full independence can trigger many emotional reactions, including anger, depression, anxiety and frustration. It will be important that you practice patience and compassion when assisting your loved one as they go through the stages of Parkinson’s. The symptoms of the disease can change on a daily basis, causing new challenges each day. You should do your best to remain aware of these changes in order to provide a strong balance of assistance and respectful intervention. Admitting that more and more help is needed can be difficult for your loved one, so preserving a sense of dignity is important.

Finding Quality Support

A strong support system for the caregiver makes a vital difference in the quality of care provided. Enjoying regular respite from the stresses of caregiving ensures that you are mentally and physically prepared for the level of care required of you. Seeking the support of a local PD support group provides a necessary outlet for overwhelming situations and gives you a place to be with people who understand what caregiving is like. There are also online forums and support groups designed specifically for Parkinson’s caregivers who can provide you with stories and advice from individuals in similar situations, and can also offer you emotional support as this time will undoubtedly be difficult for you as well. And finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to local home care agencies in Greenwich. Trusted care providers such as Home Care Assistance of Greenwich offer specialty in-home Parkinson’s care for seniors, ensuring that your loved one’s needs are met while you take time to attend to your own needs.

For more information about Greenwich Parkinson’s care from Home Care Assistance, call 203-842-8863 and speak with a friendly Care Manager. All of our hourly and live-in Parkinson’s care services come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are never any long-term contracts required, and we offer complimentary consultations so you and your family can get to know us a little better.