Parkinson's Disease and Social Needs
Caregivers often notice signs of social withdrawal or listlessness in their loved ones with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It’s important to take these signs seriously as they may indicate increased symptom activity, side effects of treatment, or the development of clinical depression, which may appear in up to half of people with Parkinson’s disease. Remember, depression is treatable, and symptoms can often be controlled with treatment plan adjustments
However, disengaging from social situations may also be a result of the fatigue often experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease or a feeling that they are a burden to those around them. To overcome these obstacles, a little encouragement may go a long way. And once your loved one re-engages socially, it may become easier.
You might also want to consider social activities that are less challenging and make your loved one feel more comfortable, such as having friends over for a meal or backyard barbecue or to play cards or board games.
Tips for Keeping in Touch
- For writing, supply lined paper and suggest large strokes.
- Find the type and weight of writing instrument that works best (fine point, medium point, roller ball, pencil, marker, etc.).
- Consider a large-button telephone for easier dialing, and a speakerphone or headset to help with conversations.
- Encourage and assist with online networking.
- Add computer arm supports to help make time on the computer easier and more comfortable.