Parkinson’s disease is a long-term, neurodegenerative disorder of vital nerve cells in the brain. It is progressive, meaning it will continually worsen over time. Every person’s experience with Parkinson’s is unique and the symptoms vary from person to person.
As home care providers in the Vancouver area, we have experience working with seniors with Parkinson’s disease. The following list of tips has been compiled to help other home care providers provide the best care possible to clients with Parkinson’s.
1. Stay Organized
When caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to keep all their medical notes, records, appointments, telephone numbers of doctors, and medication details organized in a binder or folder, so it can be easily accessed at any time. Take this folder with you to all appointments so you always have everything on hand. Be sure to also communicate the location of the material to all members of the care team, including the care recipient.
2. Be on the Watch for Mental Health
When people think of Parkinson’s disease, the first thing that comes to mind is the physical effects — the rigid muscles, the tremors, the difficulty with movement. Mood swings and depression are not uncommon symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Being aware of the emotional side of this disease can help you care for your loved one or care recipient. It is difficult to see a loved one or care recipient go through this. It is therefore important to attain and maintain open and honest communication.
3. Be Mindful of Fatigue
Parkinson’s disease can transform the simplest body movements — standing up, walking around — into strenuous exercises. As such, clients may end up becoming withdrawn and reclusive, making them less interested in social interaction.
4. Join a Support Group
It is important to feel supported by others. There is no one better to talk to than someone who is going through something like you. Find out if there are any active support groups in your local area. If not, then look online for a support group for caregivers of Parkinson’s disease patients. They are a good source for both practical and emotional support.
5. Encourage Independence
With a proactive mindset, older adults living with Parkinson’s can maintain their independence for many years. Ask if they need help and respect their answer. If you notice that they are struggling, you may suggest or buy a few helpful tools and gadgets for cooking, balancing food on eating utensils, self care, home maintenance etc. An eagerness to use and adjust to these new tools will allow the care recipient to maintain a sense of independence.
6. Medication Management
Medication management is one of the many issues that caregivers of Parkinson’s disease patience face. Depending on the severity, the care recipient may be able to manage their medication with little assistance. A few tips to consider: keep medication in the original container, have a list of medication handy in case someone else needs to dispense it, and consider the use of medication minds for reminders.
If you need assistance with home care for the elderly members of your family in the Vancouver, South Surrey, Surrey, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, White Rock areas, give our agency a call. We have trained and professional staff that will work around your schedule to ensure the most optimal care plan for your loved one. Click here to contact our agency today.