How to Help Those with Parkinson’s Disease – from Home & Hearth Caregivers
It may begin with periodic, slight tremors in the hand or foot, or a barely perceptible slowness of gait and feelings of stiffness. Or there may be a lessened sense of smell, or gradually increased sleep or mood changes. While the exact cause is unknown, what we do know is that Parkinson’s disease is currently impacting as many as a million Americans – more than MS, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. Since providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming, Home & Hearth Caregivers of Chicago offers the following tips to help make the journey a bit easier to navigate:
- Learn as much as you can. Ask your loved one’s doctor for resources to empower yourself with knowledge about what to expect as the disease progresses. Research trusted online sites, such as the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, to stay on top of the latest developments.
- Stay active. Your loved one with Parkinson’s will benefit from keeping life as consistent and enjoyable as it was before the diagnosis. Encourage him or her to continue with favorite hobbies, outings, visits with loved ones, and taking time to explore new interests.
- Minimize stress. Managing a chronic disease, such as Parkinson’s, is challenging for both the patient and those helping to provide care. It’s important to take steps to ensure stress levels are reduced to enhance physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Calming activities such as soaking in a warm bath, reading, or taking a walk in nature can help with relaxation.
- Allow loved ones to help. Friends and family members will likely want to help, but will need your direction to know what’s needed. It can be helpful to make a list of specific tasks, such as picking up prescriptions or groceries, helping with yard work or other tasks around the house, or even just providing a listening ear, and then share that list with those who offer assistance.
- Hire a professional caregiver. Even with the most devoted family and friends available to help, providing the best care for someone with Parkinson’s includes sharing the journey with a caregiver who is trained and experienced in specific senior care needs, such as those at Home & Hearth Caregivers. Our caregivers can fill in with respite care when needed, or provide full, around-the-clock in-home care – whatever best meets the needs of the person with Parkinson’s and his or her family.
Home & Hearth Caregivers serves seniors, including those with Parkinson’s, in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will and the surrounding counties. We welcome you to call us any time at 800-349-0663 to learn more about providing care for a loved one with Parkinson’s disease and how our expert in-home care services can help.