A caregiver’s guide to Parkinson’s disease

As a caregiver, the thought of helping somebody with Parkinson’s disease can seem daunting.

Understanding the condition not only allows you to provide the best possible care but also fosters a nurturing environment for your loved one.

This final entry of the Parkinson’s disease series will discuss some of the ways in which you as a carer can help.

Tailoring care to suit individual needs

Every person experiences Parkinson’s disease differently, so the caregiving approach should be personalised. Here, providing both physical and emotional support will be necessary.

Physical support can include encouraging regular physical activity to enhance mobility and reduce the risk of falls. Maintaining a balanced diet can also help support overall well-being.

Emotional support can vary from having an open dialogue to understand the individual’s feelings and worries, to mental health support. Here, you should be aware of signs of depression and anxiety, which are common in people with Parkinson’s disease. If you feel it may be necessary, you should seek out professional help.

Everyday tips for caregivers

One of the first tips for caregivers is maintaining safety in the home. This could be something simple such as managing fall prevention (removing trip hazards) and ensuring that the home is safe and accessible.

You should also have an emergency protocol, meaning that there is a defined plan in case of emergencies. Here, ensuring there are readily available emergency contacts is important.

As already briefly touched upon, you may also need to adapt the living environment too. Mobility aids such as walkers, canes, or stair lifts can be of great use, as they facilitate mobility whilst also allowing independence.

Prioritising caregiver wellbeing

Being a caregiver can often be physically and emotionally demanding. It is important that although you are looking after the health and well-being of somebody else, you also look after your own personal health and well-being.

If you need emotional support, you may find that there are support groups available where you can connect with other carers and share similar experiences. Not only does this build you a personal support network, but it can also help reduce any feelings of isolation you may have.

Your mental health should also be a priority. You may find it helpful to seek professional therapy or counselling if you find that things are getting too much.

To help look after your physical well-being, you should ensure that you get adequate sleep and take breaks to recharge and avoid burnout.

Furthermore, you should engage in your own personal hobbies and activities that bring you joy, as they can be a great way to unwind and maintain a positive outlook.

At Synergy Complex Care, we take a holistic approach and understand that caregiving can be a challenging thing. If you would like additional support for somebody you know who is living with Parkinson’s disease, please get in contact with us today.

Posted in Parkinson's Disease.