Partners in Progress

Help for the care givers of Parkinson’s disease patients

If you become a caregiver for someone with this illness it’s important to understand that it may also come with big changes in lifestyle, and being prepared for the challenge will no doubt help. As a care giver you are not only there to help with the practical tasks which the individual may struggle with, but you are also there to help maintain a good quality of life.

The first steps to becoming a good care giver is of course to educate yourself. To ensure that knowledge is held on symptoms, treatments and the progressive nature of the disease is vital. Making sure that doctor appointments are kept and that medication schedules are maintained is of course obvious tasks, and ensure that support and love is always there for the one suffering.

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There are also some important points to ensure that you as a care giver also retain your own quality of life. Meaning it’s important that you find time for yourself, to rest and recharge, without this a negative cycle can be entered. Another point is to let your loved one help, you don’t need to do everything, and for the afflicted person it’s often also good to feel strength, even though daily tasks like getting dressed etc.

Just as it’s important to rest, it’s also important to not put your life on hold due to this major change. It’s sure to be challenging, however continue to meet with friends, retain enjoyable hobbies and so on.
Lastly, it’s of course important that you speak with your loved one, and that support, physical and emotional is there when it’s needed, however, for you as a care giver it’s equally important that you have someone to speak to. As mentioned, this is a great challenge, and you will also need support to manage things in the best way possible.