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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Erwin

Emotional and Support Mechanisms for Parkinson’s Disease Caregivers

Caregivers of those with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can range from family members to hired help and it can be a challenging job. Luckily, there are many options that can ease the emotional strain for caregivers.


The best way to prepare for the job, or improve the current situation, is through educating yourself. This can be done by reaching out to health professionals or a variety of resources that can now be found online which can vary from videos to books, or podcasts. For example, the podcast, Substantial Matters: Life and Science of Parkinson’s, interviews Parkinson’s experts to discuss treatments, exercise, nutrition, new research on PD, and more to assist in improving the quality of life (Parkinson’s Foundation, 2019).


Additionally, having support from others such as friends, family, or support groups is helpful. Support groups for PD caregivers can be found online or in person and provide a unique environment to assist each other with emotional support when times get tough or to aid one another in solutions for a variety of situations through the exchange of ideas.


It is important to not put one’s own life on pause. Participating in events and activities will prevent the caregiver from becoming worn out and preserve the positive attitude and outlook (Cassoobhoy, 2020). Additionally, creating activities the PD patient can do independently provides a break for the caregiver as well as maintaining the patient’s sense of independence.


Setting realistic goals will enable a positive atmosphere and allows PD patients and their caregivers to experience success rather than disappointment. The most crucial thing any caregiver must remember is to breathe and do not be too hard on yourself (Woodbridge, 2018). Some days will be better than others and remaining calm is key.

Thank you, caregivers, for all your hard work to take care of all those in our community, especially during these hard times.


References


Cassoobhoy, A. (2020). Coping Tips for Caregivers of Those with Parkinson’s Disease. WebMD Medical Reference. https://www.webmd.com/parkinsons-disease/guide/parkinsons-caregivers#1


Parkinson’s Foundation. (2019). Top 10 Essential Caregiver Resources. Parkinson’s Foundation. https://www.parkinson.org/blog/caregiver-corner/top-caregiver-resources


Woodbridge, S. (2018). 8 Things Caregivers Need. Parkinson’s New Today. https://parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2018/04/16/parkinsons-disease-8-things-caregivers-need/


Image: https://companionsforseniors.com/2020/01/managing-caregiver-guilt-and-stress/

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