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When caring about someone with Parkinson's, you may not think of yourself as a hero. BUT YOU ARE!

When someone you care about has Parkinson disease, you as a carer, are the first person to notice the effects the disease can have on someone.

Caring about someone with Parkinson disease
A carer offering assistance to someone with Parkinson disease

Symptoms such as rigid movements, poor balance, and tremors become a part of their daily lives, and these symptoms can worsen as the disease progresses.

Your loved one requires additional assistance and support in order to remain positive, active and maintain their quality of life. You can help in a variety of ways, from offering a friendly ear when they need to talk to driving them to medical appointments.

No one is born a caregiver. Caregiving is a skill that most of us are forced to learn by unforeseen circumstances life puts us through. In this article, I want to pay tribute to all caregivers to Parkinson patients, relatives, friends, spouses or siblings. The least to say is that IT'S UTLIMATELY NOT EASY TO BE A CAREGIVER. It takes time, energy, mental strength and willingness to be one.

My way of recognizing your effort, as a caregiver, is to share with you the below 10 tips about how you can help someone you care about manage his/ her Parkinson's symptoms.


1. Learn everything you can about the disease

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.

Attend the medical appointments that your loved one is scheduled with his Parkinson specialist. Ask questions to the doctor. Share your remarks about what you've noticed in term of progression of the symptoms, or what you've noticed as secondary effects of medications. Not only you'll have a better idea of what to expect, but you might even inform the doctor about something important that the patient himself didn't notice.

2. Offer to assist them

When you have a movement disorder, everyday tasks like shopping, cooking, and cleaning become much more difficult.

People with Parkinson's disease may require assistance with these and other tasks, but they may be too proud or embarrassed to ask for it.

Offer to prepare meals, drive to medical appointments, pick up medications at the pharmacy, and assist with any other day-to-day tasks they are unable to complete on their own.

3. Get involved in making them exercise a lot

Exercise is beneficial to everyone, but it is especially beneficial to people with Parkinson's disease.

According to research, exercise improves the brain's use of dopamine, a chemical involved in movement. Fitness helps people with this condition improve their strength, balance, memory, and quality of life.

If a friend or loved one isn't staying active, encourage them to get moving by going for a daily walk together. Alternatively, propose to them the idea of signing up for a dance or yoga class together. Both of these exercise programmes have proven to help improve the Parkinson patient's coordination.

4. Make them feel normal

A disease like Parkinson's can disrupt someone's daily routine. Because people may become overly concerned with the disease and its symptoms, your loved one may begin to lose their sense of self.

Research findings pointed out that 35% of people with Parkinson's experience depression at some point during their disease's progression. Depression, if left untreated, can hasten physical decline. Don't keep reminding your loved one that they have a chronic disease every time you talk to them. Discuss other topics, such as their favourite new movie or book.

5. Make them leave the house as often as possible

A chronic disease, such as Parkinson's, can be extremely isolating and lonely. Try to make them leave the house for a small walk in the area, or to go out to dinner or to the movies.

Prepare to make some adjustments, such as selecting a restaurant or theatre with a ramp or elevator, if their conditions require so.

6. Listen to them when they need to talk

Living with a degenerative and unpredictable condition can be extremely upsetting and frustrating. Anxiety and depression are common in Parkinson's disease patients.

A friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on can be a tremendous gift at times. Encourage your loved one to express their feelings and assure them that you are listening.

7. Encourage them to join a support group

Your loved one will be able to share their thoughts and feelings with others who are going through the same thing by joining a Parkinson's support group. This may help to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. It also helps de-dramatize the disease in their heads. Your loved one may learn about treatment options and resources that have aided others in the group while also making new friends. Families and friends of Parkinson's patients are usually welcome at support groups.

8. Make them engage in social activities

Many people with Parkinson's disease are reluctant to socialise because of communication problems and other factors.

Encourage your loved one to socialise with family and friends to alleviate loneliness and improve their quality of life. Allowing others to know that your loved one is still the same person but has new limitations may help them understand.

9. Keep an eye out for symptoms that are getting worse

Parkinson's disease symptoms worsen over time. Keep an eye out for any changes in:

• walking ability

• coordination

• balance

• fatigue

• speech

Encourage your loved one to seek professional assistance from a trained mental health professional and make sure they attend their scheduled appointments. If they need assistance getting to the doctor's or therapist's office, offer to take them there.

10. Have patience

Parkinson's disease can impair a person's ability to walk quickly and speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard. A physical therapist can help them with their movement skills, while a speech therapist can teach them exercises to improve the volume and strength of their voice.

Be patient when conversing with them or going somewhere with them. It is possible that they will take longer than usual to respond to you. Smile and pay attention. Match your speed with theirs. Take your time with them.

Encourage them to use a walker or wheelchair if walking becomes too difficult. If speaking is difficult, try other modes of communication, such as messaging via an online platform or email.


I hope that these tips will help you care better about your loved one. If you wish to share with me your experiences (good and/or bad) as a caregiver, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the below button. I will be very interested to listen to you.


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