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Supporting Loved Ones with Parkinson’s

Maybe your loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? Of course, you want to be there for them in as many ways as possible. Yet supporting loved ones with Parkinson’s is definitely a challenge. As the disease progresses, people tend to become frustrated and overwhelmed. They need support. It doesn’t matter if it’s offering transportation, doing household chores, or simply lending a listening ear. What matters in the face of dealing with Parkinson’s is letting your loved one know you are there for them.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s vary greatly from patient to patient. This Health Line article explains one simple way to provide support is to just learn everything you can about the disease. This will help ensure the quality of care for your loved one. It will also keep you informed on treatments, management, and what to expect. Reputable websites like the Parkinson’s Foundation are a great place to begin.

In addition, another simple way to support your loved one is to treat them normally. They will definitely need accommodations due to their disease. At the same time, spend time with them talking about normal topics. Spark conversations around things they like. Hobbies, family, friends, and even new movies are wonderful topics. Listen to them as well. More than 50 percent of patients experience depression as the disease progresses. Therefore, just listening can make a difference in their mental state.

Keeping active and getting out of the house are other ways of supporting loved ones with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s is a movement disorder. Physical activity affects dopamine, which is a main neurotransmitter involved in movement. Even going with them on a walk or to a gentle yoga class can be beneficial. Getting out of the house will improve their mood, balance, strength, and overall quality of life.

Lastly, be patient. Being patient not only with your loved one, but with yourself, is crucial. When having a conversation or going somewhere, don’t rush them. Go at their pace. As the disease progresses, it may take them longer to respond to you. Smile and listen. And remember, you’re not alone in supporting them. Aging Life Care experts as well as caregivers can assist in providing support.

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