Caregivers for older adults with Parkinson’s disease are faced with a whole host of tasks. They do things like schedule and attend medical appointments, learn about the disease itself, organize medications, manage finances, and handle household tasks. There’s no doubt being a caregiver can be exhausting. While no one suggests the job will ever be easy, sometimes learning new tips can make life easier for both the caregiver and for the person with Parkinson’s disease. Below are 5 tips for Parkinson’s caregivers.
#1 Take Care of Yourself First
Caregivers need to keep themselves in the best physical and mental health as possible. Doing so will allow them to be better and more positive caregivers to their loved ones. Make sure that you keep up with your own regular medical appointments, including routine physicals, dental appointments, and eye exams. Also, do your best to eat right and get in about 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you find yourself struggling emotionally, talk to your doctor. It may also help to join a caregiver support group.
#2 Foster Independence
When someone you care about is going through something difficult, it can be tempting to do everything for them. However, Parkinson’s is a progressive disease that only gets worse and takes more of the person’s independence away as time goes by. So, if you start doing everything for the older adult early on, you’ll only exhaust yourself and take away their independence sooner than necessary. Instead, find different ways for them to do things they struggle with, such as using adaptive devices for eating or dressing.
#3 Keep Paperwork Organized
In the wake of all the daily tasks, it can be easy to let organizational tasks slide. You may be tempted to toss a medical bill or receipt on your desk and handle it later. However, that could lead to a giant (and intimidating!) pile of paperwork to catch up on later. Take care of paperwork as soon as it arrives so that you only have to touch it once.
#4 Stay Positive and Maintain a Sense of Humor
Yes, this is probably easier to say than to do when dealing with a chronic disease. But, a positive attitude can help you take on new challenges more easily. Finding the humor in the situation can help caregivers and older adults to stay positive. It can also offer them ways to connect and communicate.
#5 Learn About Insurance
Sometimes dealing with medical bills can be a real struggle. Not only is there the pressure to find ways to pay them, but there’s also the confusion of dealing with insurance or Medicare. While the older adult is still able, take care of the necessary paperwork to give you access to information about their insurance. A representative of the insurance company or a social worker can probably help you with this step. Once you have access, make sure you understand how the coverage works. This can make it easier when questions arise.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Irvine, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!