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7 Ways to Help Your Loved One with Parkinson disease

When you care about someone with Parkinson disease, make sure you balance out well the amount of help you give and the level of responsibility you handle. Here are 7 tips to help you find the right balance:

1. Be truthful to one another Some caregiver-patient partners may fall into the trap of having one person become the "nurse" while the other is demoted to helpless patient. That is counterproductive and can be harmful if, for example, the caregiver assumes responsibilities that the person should have.

2. Inform yourself Parkinson's disease is a neurological movement disorder. If you're a caregiver for someone who has Parkinson's disease, you're probably familiar with some of the disease's symptoms. But do you know what causes its symptoms, how it progresses, and what treatments can help you manage it? Furthermore, Parkinson's disease does not manifest in the same way in everyone. Learn everything you can about Parkinson's disease to be the best ally you can be for your loved one. Conduct research on reputable websites, such as the Parkinson's Foundation, or read books about the disease. Accompany you to medical appointments and ask questions of the doctor. You'll have a better idea of what to expect and how to help if you're well informed.

3. Attend doctor's appointment Even if your loved one can get himself or herself to appointments at first, accompany him or her to ask questions, take notes, and share your unique perspective on symptoms or other issues that your loved one may not bring up, such as sleeping problems or mood disorders. Make a list of questions to bring with you. A calendar is recommended for keeping track of doctor and therapy appointments, tracking medications and keeping track of any side effects.

4. Stay on top of insurance If you've always handled insurance coverage issues, that's great; if not, you might want to familiarise yourself with the terms of your health insurance. You'll need to know if and how much your plan covers prescriptions, therapy sessions, and other unexpected expenses.

5. Keep an eye out

Keep an eye out for changes in symptoms, abilities, and moods. You should also keep careful track of your loved one's changing abilities, especially after medication or therapy changes. A person with Parkinson's disease may be able to do many of the things he or she used to do, such as working, doing housework, going out with you or with friends, and engaging in normal activities. But that can change in subtle ways that the person may not always realize.

6. Be flexible

The symptoms of your loved one may change over time and even from day to day. Be patient and adaptable if, for example, you had plans to do something that have been derailed by a bad day. Give your loved one every opportunity to complete tasks independently before stepping in to assist out of frustration. Consider the feasibility and timing of removing some tasks from your or your loved one's plate. Talk to each other as well to avoid misunderstandings and resentment over any changes you may propose.

7. Be sure medication are taken timely

This is critical: If your loved one forgets to take his or her medication, he or she may not be functioning optimally. To avoid making mistakes or nagging your loved one, create a tool that you both agree on, such as a smartphone reminder or a hard-to-miss wall calendar. Being consistent with your medication can improve both of your lives and lifestyles.

If you have other tips to share with Parkinson disease caregivers, please feel free to send them over to me by clicking the below button.

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