When an older adult learns they have Parkinson’s disease, it can be devastating news. There are so many questions and so much uncertainty about what the future holds. Family members and friends may want to help, but knowing what to do or say can be difficult. Although it’s not easy to help someone cope with a new diagnosis, there are many ways you can help reassure them about the future and support them as they come to terms with their new reality. Here are some strategies that may help.
Help Them Find a Support Group.
Sometimes when people face what seem like insurmountable difficulties, it can be easy to feel incredibly alone—like no one else can possibly understand. Finding a support group for people with Parkinson’s can help the person to feel less alone and to connect with others who are facing the same challenges. A support group is a safe place where your loved one can share their feelings. They may even learn tips or receive inspiration from others living with the disease.
Learn About Parkinson’s Disease.
Learning everything you can about Parkinson’s can help you to empathize with the person. It will also keep you one step ahead as the disease progresses. You’ll have some idea of what to expect and be able to prepare ahead of time. This can be particularly helpful for recognizing when it’s time to enlist more help, such as a home care provider.
Volunteer to Help.
Although people in the early stages of Parkinson’s are usually capable of caring for themselves, it’s nice to have someone volunteer to help run errands or cook a meal. This can give the person a chance to process the news.
Do Something Fun.
Take your senior family member out to do something fun that has absolutely nothing to do with Parkinson’s disease. Go to a movie. Have lunch at their favorite restaurant. Or, simply go for a walk and talk. Spending time doing other things can be a reminder that there is still a lot of life to live.
Plan for the Future.
During the early stages of Parkinson’s, it can be comforting for an older adult to know that they will be well taken care of as the disease progresses. It may be helpful to have a family meeting to discuss future living arrangements. You may also wish to begin looking into hiring a home care provider to come to the person’s home when they reach the stage where daily tasks become difficult. A home care provider can help them to get dressed in the morning, cook and eat meals, and perform light housekeeping tasks. A home care provider can also drive your family member to medical appointments and other engagements.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Tanglewood, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338. Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.
In 1989 after selling his family owned food service business, Mr. Gerber pursued his compassion for the elderly by completing his geriatric education and training requirements to be a licensed nursing home administrator (LNFA) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.Previously he received his undergraduate business degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Masters in business administration (MBA) from the University of Houston.In 2003, Mr. Gerber earned his Certification to be a Senior Advisor (CSA).
Sid Gerber is a Google Verified Author