Re-evaluating Your Caregiving Efforts After a Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis
Elderly Care in Northbrook IL
Hearing that your loved one has Parkinson's disease is a life-changing moment. For the more than 60,000 people who will receive such a diagnosis each year, however, it is a reality that they have to adapt to quickly and move on from in order to maintain quality of life. If your parent has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, it is important that you take the time to reevaluate your elderly care efforts and modify them to meet the new needs that this disease will bring.
Use these tips to help you reevaluate your care approach and design a new plan that will help your loved one live his highest quality of life even after a diagnosis with PD:
• Learn everything that you can. Many people who receive a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease are not familiar enough with the disease to feel confident in their ability to manage it. Take some time with your aging parent to learn everything you can about the disease. Even knowing that more than one million people throughout the country are living with the disease or that more than 10 million people around the world are living with it can be comforting. Make an effort to learn about the progression of the disease, the symptoms, and treatment and management options.
• Work through your emotions first. Before you try to make any major changes in your care approach, take the time to work through your emotions. Even if you do not think that it is bothering you, the reality is that this type of diagnosis will change your life and the life of your elderly parent. Have some time to yourself to think about how it is really impacting you and let yourself feel those emotions. This will help to prevent them from suddenly emerging in a stressful moment and making coping far more difficult.
• Emphasize life, not the disease. One of the most important things that you can do for your loved one is to continue emphasizing him in your care approach. It is easy to fall into the pattern of thinking about the disease and its impact first in all of your decisions, but this is not the way it should be. Instead, think about your parent and his lifestyle and quality of life. Make sure that the decisions that you make are designed around his needs first. For example, rather than thinking about what your parent cannot do because of the disease, think about how you can modify an activity to fit with your parent's capabilities.
• Empower him. How your parent copes with his Parkinson's disease is largely up to his perception and his attitude. Though he cannot willfully control the progression, he can make a difference in how he chooses to live through the progression. Staying active, thinking positively, and constantly working toward management will help to keep his mind and body stronger and more functional throughout the progression of the disease. Empower him to make the decisions regarding his treatment and management that are right for him and encourage him to stay as independent as he can.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.