Here’s an infographic of the American Parkinson Disease Association’s (apdaparkinson.org) “Five Tips for Care Partners”:
In short, the five tips are:
* Manage your stress
* Keep your own needs in mind
* Be realistic
* Take a break
* Accept changes
Certainly these five tips apply to all caregivers, not just Parkinson’s caregivers.
Most of the infographic is copied below but it’s much nicer to read online!
FIVE TIPS for Care Partners
American Parkinson Disease Association
1. Manage your stress
Consider how stress affects your body stomach aches, high blood pressure) – and your motions (overeating, irritability). Find ways to relax.
2. Keep your own needs in mind
You are the emotional support of your loved one. But, you also need someone to support your emotional needs. Talk openly and honestly with a friend or another loved one. It is important to know you are not alone and that someone else somewhere is in a similar situation that you are.
3. Be realistic
The care you give does make a difference, but many behaviors can’t be controlled. Grieve the losses and focus on the positive times as they arise.
4. Take a break
As a care partner, it will be important for you to continue with your personal social life, exercise regularly and eat healthy. Don’t try to do everything for your loved one. If possible, allow him/her to do some daily activities on their own. This will allow you a break and it will allow him/her to be reassured that they do not need help with everything.
5. Accept changes
Eventually your loved one will need more intensive kinds of care. Research care options now so you are ready for the changes as they occur. There will be many transitions throughout the Parkinson’s journey, such as moving from a walker to a wheelchair. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help from your doctor, APDA, or your friends and family. Asking for assistance is a positive step for you.