More than 100,000 Canadian adults are living with Parkinson’s. Medical statistics suggest that approximately 6,600 new cases of the disorder are diagnosed annually. An estimated 96 percent of the cases involve adults over the age of 50. In addition to the physical symptoms the neurodegenerative disease causes, Parkinson’s affects finances and quality of life. Thousands of people care for family members living with the disorder, and more are planning to assume the caregiving role. Here are a few tips to help new caregivers prepare.
1. Educate Yourself
Family caregivers can benefit from learning as much as possible about Parkinson’s. Learn how the disorder develops and the various symptoms seniors experience as the disease progresses. Become knowledgeable concerning the symptoms and remission phases of the disease. However, realize that Parkinson’s manifests differently from one older adult to the next. You need to know about the medications commonly prescribed for seniors with Parkinson’s. Keep a database of medication names, dosages, and times they need to be taken. Medications must be taken at specific times of the day to prevent interactions with other formulations or foods.
Many seniors in the early stages of Parkinson’s are able to live on their own, but they may need a bit of help with the everyday tasks of life, such as exercising and preparing nutritious meals. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable elder care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
2. Expect Relationship Changes
Seniors with Parkinson’s often experience depression, frustration, or moodiness when facing the diagnosis and symptoms of the disorder. Don’t take offense when your older loved one exhibits behavior that’s out of character. When one family member assumes the role of caring for another, it commonly changes the relationship. Honest and open communication with your loved one is necessary to provide the support, understanding, patience, and compassion needed.
3. Monitor Symptoms
Continually monitor your loved one’s symptoms so you’re able to determine whether medications or treatments are successful or need adjustments. Watch your loved one’s ability to move, walk, speak, and eat. Note any spasms or pain symptoms. Report any changes to your loved one’s healthcare provider as soon as possible to prevent delays in intervention. Make note of possible adverse reactions and the efficacy of the treatment.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Mississauga seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Encourage Independence
Enable your loved one to perform daily tasks independently as tolerated. Offer assistance but respect his or her right to refuse. Perhaps assist in a nonchalant manner while engaged in conversation. Respect your loved one’s privacy and right to make decisions.
5. Focus on Self-Care
Caregiver burnout is common. You might begin feeling unusually fatigued, frustrated, impatient, or short-tempered. Making time for yourself remains an important aspect of caregiving to ensure your loved one continues receiving optimal care. Caregivers must eat nutritious foods, get sufficient rest, and have other interests. Have backup support in place if you need to take time off.
6. Consider Support Groups
Parkinson’s support groups offer emotional support, information, and guidance for caregivers. Support groups are ideal for new caregivers, as members share a unique bond of understanding. Caregivers are free to express their concerns and questions. Group meetings enable everyone to share their experiences and learn from each other.
Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Mississauga elderly home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 905-337-1200 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.