Information for First Time Parkinson’s Caregivers

By Pete Lane, 8:00 am on

A Parkinson’s diagnosis can be difficult to cope with, for both the patient and their family. Today, more and more families are deciding to care for their loved ones in the comfort of home, allowing their loved one to maintain their normal routines.

As the leading provider of Centennial Parkinson’s care, we wanted to share some of the most common challenges associated with caring for a senior with Parkinson’s. It is important that family caregivers are armed with as much information as possible to ensure quality, safe and effective care at home.

Many people are aware of the tremors and balance and coordination issues associated with Parkinson’s. These symptoms occur because the disease prevents the body from producing and using dopamine. However, along with changes in physical abilities come emotional challenges. It is not uncommon for individuals with Parkinson’s to encounter problems such as depression as the result of reduced dopamine levels. As the disease progresses, these feelings can increase and in some cases, dementia and other cognitive issues can arise.

When changes in mood and behavior take place, it is important for caregivers to remember that their loved one has little control over how they are acting. Although difficult to cope with emotionally, it is the disease that is causing the unusual behavioral changes. It’s also important that caregivers understand they will likely bear the brunt of the frustration that their loved one experiences as they move through each stage of the disease. Caregivers must remain as patient and understanding as possible.

The term caregiver includes many jobs, especially when Parkinson’s is a factor. Not only are families responsible for meeting the physical needs of their loved one, they also hold the position of cook, medication manager, driver and financial planner. Whether preparing a nutritious meal according to dietary preferences or helping a senior manage their medications and finances, caregiving encompasses multiple jobs.

With all of the above information in mind, caregivers should also know that they do not have to face this journey alone. Caregivers should never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help – whether from friends, family, support groups or a professional caregiver in South Metro Denver. Knowing that help is available before your caregiving journey begins can make all the difference in the quality of care you provide. The right support systems will allow you to enjoy respite and time for yourself, while offering your loved one the high level of care and monitoring needed to promote independence and quality of life at home.

Whether you are interested in care a few hours a week or would prefer overnight assistance from a live-in caregiver in Centennial, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Join the countless families in the South Metro Denver area that rely on our experienced caregivers and Care Managers for quality care for their aging loved ones. Call 303-957-3100 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.