People with Parkinson’s disease need to rely on caregivers for different types of supports. You may need to drive them to doctor’s appointments and may also need to help them to get dressed. With the progression of the disease, dependency on the caregiver will increase substantially. So, it becomes more important for the caregiver to understand and to offer the help necessary.
Let’s find out how you can improve your role as a caregiver for a patient with Parkinson’s.
You will need to be involved more. Most doctors and carries caregivers to attend doctor’s appointments. For the patient, it may not be possible to provide all the necessary details due to the illness they are suffering from. As a caregiver, you can provide the important inputs which will help the doctor understand about the progress of the disease. It will also help in devising the treatment options for future and present. The doctor will be able to know about the side-effects, if any. Since the patient’s memory may not be working at the best level possible, so, you need to step up during the doctor’s appointments to provide the necessary inputs and information.
Find a support group
A support group can help you to stay sane even in difficult situations. Caring for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease not an easy task and it may break your moral and determination. People in the support group can help you in such situations. The support in the form of care that you are offering can be deeply satisfying. You need to provide emotional and physical care for a patient suffering from Parkinson’s and that can be very stressful sometimes. It may be difficult to balance your personal life and care giving. It is seen that many caregivers feel abandoned, guilty and angry. In such situations, support groups can play vital roles in restoring the balance in the lives of caregivers.
Establish a team
For proper care of a patient suffering from Parkinson’s, you’ll need to establish a team for providing the required help and support. Family members, friends, neighbors and relatives may be interested in offering their help in the care of the patient. That is why you need to talk to them to find out how interested they are in helping. You will need to keep a handy list of people you can call in emergencies. That may also enable you to designate someone to be called when the need arises. Some people may directly offer the care necessary for the patient and some others may offer help in different forms like grocery shopping, picking up children from school, and others.
Ask for professional assistance
During the later stages of Parkinson’s, caring for the patient may become more difficult and stressful. During such time, you can always ask for professional assistance as there are professionals who are trained for such jobs. They are better equipped to handle certain symptoms and side effects of the disease. Such professional assistance may be received from nurses who stay at the home, or in the nursing home environment. Some of the symptoms and side effects of the disease include problem in walking or balancing, hallucinations, dementia and severe depression. There are some organizations which provide professional assistance and care to the caregivers. You can approach them because they can really help you as a caregiver and can better handle a situation which also means better care for the patient.