Caring for a loved one with Parkinson's disease (PD) can be a challenging job, especially as the disease progresses. How can you lighten your daily workload while still helping your loved one remain independent as long as possible? There are many solutions- here are just a few!
- Get prepared. Preparing for caregiving starts with education. The areas to look at include your loved one's needs—both your perceptions and theirs, your home environment, and your own health, emotional state, and other commitments. You need to determine how much you are able to do on your own and what type of outside support is needed.
- Take care of yourself. One of the most important, and sometimes difficult, things caregivers can do is to take care of themselves. This includes maintaining mental and physical health by making and keeping your own medical, dental and even social appointments.
- Get help. Don't try to do it all alone. By getting help from a company like Senior Helpers, you can lessen your sense of isolation, and it gives you more confidence in your own caregiving ability. Having help increases your ability to think clearly and helps you get those needed breaks.
- Work to maintain a good relationship with your loved one. Caregiving changes the way you relate to the person you're caring for. But it's critical to retain some of the old patterns, for example, ask your father for advice about work; he's still your parent regardless of physical or mental state- being aware of that will help to preserve his dignity as well as your relationship.
- Think of Exercise as your Lifeline. For both you and your loved one with PD. Even 15 to 20 minutes of activity most days is enough to make a difference. Consider a family gym membership or activities that you can do together to keep your loved one mobile and you balanced.
How do you lighten your load as a caregiver? Share your ideas with us by commenting below or by sharing on our Facebook and Twitter pages!