When a loved one has Parkinson’s disease, you witness the debilitating effects of the disease. Rigid movements, poor balance, and tremors become a part of their daily lives, and as the disease develops, these symptoms might increase.
Therefore, with effective Parkinson’s treatment, your loved one will also require additional assistance and support to remain active and maintain their quality of life. According to Dr. Gurneet, an expert neurosurgeon in India, you can assist them in various ways, from giving a helping hand to driving them to medical appointments.
How to assist your loved one in managing Parkinson’s disease?
Find out everything you can about the condition. Parkinson’s disease is a movement illness that affects people. Parkinson’s disease does not affect everyone in the same manner. If you are a caregiver for someone with Parkinson’s disease, you are probably familiar with some of the condition’s symptoms.
But do you know what causes the symptoms, how the condition develops, or what treatments are available to help you manage it? To be the best ally for your loved one, do the following:
- Learn about the disease or conduct research on credible sources.
- Make doctor’s appointments and ask questions.
- You will have a better notion of what to expect and how to be the most helpful if you are well-informed.
Volunteer to assist
When you have a mobility issue, everyday tasks like shopping, cooking, and cleaning become considerably more difficult. People with Parkinson’s disease occasionally require assistance with these and other duties, but they may be too proud or ashamed to ask for it.
Offer to do chores, prepare meals, drive to medical appointments, pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy, and assist with any other daily duties they cannot complete independently.
Become more active
Everyone benefits from exercise, but people with Parkinson’s disease benefit much more. According to research, exercise improves the brain’s usage of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the movement. Fitness helps patients with this illness improve their strength, balance, memory, and overall quality of life.
Assist them in feeling normal
A condition like Parkinson’s might disrupt the normalcy of someone’s life. Because so much attention is paid to the illness and its symptoms, your loved one may begin to lose their sense of self.
Don’t keep reminding your loved ones that they have a chronic condition every time you chat to them. Other topics can be discussed, such as their favourite new movie or book.
Get yourself out of the house
A chronic illness such as Parkinson’s disease can be isolating and lonely. Take a friend or family member out if they don’t get out much. Visit a restaurant or see a movie with them.
Prepare to make some adjustments, such as selecting a restaurant or theatre with a ramp or elevator. Also, be prepared to change your plans if the person is unable to go out.
Living with an illness that is both degenerative and unpredictable can be both upsetting and frustrating. People with Parkinson’s disease are prone to anxiety and depression. Offering a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to weep on can be a great gift. Encourage your loved ones to express their feelings and assure them that you are listening.
Keep an eye out for signs of deterioration
Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen over time. Keep an eye on your loved one’s walking abilities, coordination, balance, weariness, and speech for any changes. Also, keep an eye out for changes in their demeanour.
Up to 50% of people with Parkinson’s disease will feel depressed at some stage during their illness. Depression, if left untreated, can hasten physical deterioration. If your loved one is depressed, encourage them to get help from a competent mental health professional.
Parkinson’s disease might make it difficult for your loved one to walk rapidly or speak properly and loudly enough to be heard. A speech therapist can give them exercises to improve their volume and strength, while a physical therapist can assist them with their mobility.
Be patient when conversing with them or going somewhere with them. They may take longer than normal to react to you. Smile and pay attention. Make sure you are moving at the same speed as them. Don’t be in a hurry with them.
Encourage them to use a walker or wheelchair if walking becomes too difficult. If speaking is difficult, try using other methods of communication, such as online messaging or email.
We understand how devastating Parkinson’s disease may be for you and your loved ones. For both patients and caregivers, the loss of freedom can be stressful and emotionally draining. Dr Gurneet Sawhney, one of the best neurosurgeon in India, is dedicated to treatments that assist patients in improving their quality of life and reclaiming their capacity to conduct daily activities.