Individuals with Parkinson’s disease are faced with a variety of physical and psychological health challenges in their daily lives. Parkinson’s cognitive symptoms can include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, confusion, and dementia. Parkinson’s physical symptoms may include shaking, tremors, difficulty walking, compromised balance, fatigue, stiffness, rigidity of the limbs and torso. These symptoms are progressive, and worsen overtime. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are a number of ways in which loved ones and caregivers can make life more manageable for people who suffer from the disease.
One of the most difficult aspects of Parkinson’s is the transition from independence to dependence. Individuals rely heavily on family members, friends, and caregivers as the disease progresses. Activities that once were easy – such as driving, writing, doing laundry, cooking, and dressing – can become tedious. Patients may feel helpless and insecure admitting that they need help. A loss of independence can affect their sense of purpose, identity, and self-worth. Ensure you are sensitive to the patient’s loss of independence and assuring them that it is favorable to ask for assistance when needed.
While those in the early stages of Parkinson’s may insist living independently, there are tasks such as driving or cleaning that could be too dangerous or difficult for them to do on their own. Caregivers and loved ones can help by involving the person with Parkinson’s in their own care, giving them choices, and finding ways to let them help. Above all, patience and flexibility is the key as everyone adjusts to an altered lifestyle.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Parkinson’s disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.