Caring for Someone with Parkinson's Disease

Some 80% of people in the United States who need daily care are cared for at home by a key support person in their family. By offering your support, you are joining a special group. You are giving the gift of your time, strength, and awareness on behalf of your loved one.
As a caregiver for a Parkinson’s disease (PD) patient, you may share in decisions about your loved one’s approach to disease management, seek information on his or her behalf, attend doctor appointments, or help with day-to-day activities. In this role, it’s important to understand that you have needs and responsibilities that must be balanced to make your relationship with your loved one work. Some of your responsibilities may include:
  • Learning more about Parkinson’s disease so that you can help make informed decisions about care
  • Attending doctor appointments with your loved one to take notes and help provide information to the physician
  • Identifying changes in your loved one’s symptoms or side effects, such as the onset of depression, abrupt worsening of slowness, or the onset of confusion, and making sure his or her physician is aware of these changes
  • Helping establish a management strategy, including a schedule for medication dosing, exercise, therapy, sleeping, and hobbies or interests
  • Assisting with tasks of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, or household chores, as needed with the progression of Parkinson’s disease

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