How to Cope When a Family Member Has Parkinson’s Disease

It’s always hard when a loved one is diagnosed with a degenerative disease. Parkinson’s Disease is gradual degeneration of nerve cells in the portion of the mid-brain, the part that controls body movements. Parkinson’s Disease roughly affects 1% of the population ages 50 to 60 years old. It can be tough and overwhelming, especially for family members that provide care for the affected family member.

There are many different ways to cope and assist you with the challenges that Parkinson’s can bring.

First and foremost, we want to make sure that the quality of life for the affected loved one is kept as comfortable and easygoing as possible. We want to make sure that stress does not take hold of them to make them even more uncomfortable.

Second: educate yourself and other family members about Parkinson’s Disease. With the vast resources the Internet has to offer, there are many articles and videos to read that will help you understand more about Parkinson’s including: symptoms, treatments, and how progression works.

Third: keep track of the prescribed medications, doctor’s appointments, and exercises that will help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Four: always make sure to keep an eye out for signs of depression. Along with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, depression usually follows. Always make sure to keep an eye on their coping skills and how this new way of life is affecting them. Of course, as the caregiver, stress can get to you as well and you should always make sure you are using coping mechanisms to relieve the stress.

And last but not least, always make sure to offer love and support for the affected family member. This is a challenge that they are overcoming and they are going to need as much love and understanding as possible.

We have a video linked to this post as a guide to Parkinson’s Disease for family and friends.

(source: webmd.com and youtube.com)