When a senior loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, getting over the initial shock can take time. This is just as true for family members as it is for the senior who has been diagnosed. How you respond in the days and weeks that follow your loved one’s diagnosis can have a significant impact on his or her short- and long-term wellbeing.
Offer Your Support
It’s important to offer support early on and to state your commitment to helping your loved one maintain a high quality of life. Seniors can gain tremendous relief by simply learning they don’t have to face this challenge on their own. Although many aging adults are eager to maintain a sense of autonomy, having a flexible support system can be comforting.
Talk about Long-Term Plans
This is also a good time to initiate discussions about your loved one’s long-term plans. These conversations are rarely easy, but they’re necessary. Talk to your loved one about putting his or her wishes for long-term care in writing and drafting a living will. You can also find out whether your parent wants to age in place and discuss feasible strategies for doing so, such as finding specialized Parkinson’s care.
Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Create & Share a List of Resources
Use the web to compile a list of resources that can help as your loved one’s needs and abilities change. This list can include everything from home care companies to assistive devices designed to make everyday tasks easier for those who are experiencing loss of fine motor control. You can look up local meal delivery services, options for senior transportation assistance, and local Parkinson’s support groups. Organize your list in easy-to-follow sections so your loved one’s developing communication issues don’t diminish the value of your efforts.
Learn More about the Disease
Parkinson’s affects fine motor control and mental health in a variety of ways. Both dopamine and serotonin production are likely to decrease, which can lead to tremors, a marching or shuffling gait, and other mobility issues. Many family members are surprised to discover seniors with Parkinson’s are also prone to bouts of overwhelming depression and anxiety. They can even have a difficult time processing conversations that change course too often or move along too rapidly. Understanding these developments will make it easier for you to provide support that’s in line with your loved one’s changing needs.
At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Accompany Your Loved One to the Next Doctor’s Appointment
Ask if you can tag along for your loved one’s next doctor’s visit. This will give you the opportunity to offer greater support, learn more about the treatment plan, and get in-depth and up-to-date information on your parent’s condition. You can talk to the doctor about what to expect and get advice on how to help your loved one maintain a safe and comfortable lifestyle.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to manage, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Anchorage Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your loved one.