How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect the Entire Family?

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People with Parkinson’s disease experience a slow progression of symptoms, such as tremors and freezing, that change their lives over time. Naturally, the changes that occur in people with Parkinson’s begin to affect others who are close to them. If your aging loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, make sure to think about the following ways the disease affects the whole family so you can make plans to help everyone handle their new roles. 

Senior Spouses Are Tasked with Caregiving

The majority of adults are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after the age of 50, and it’s common for their spouses to be living and capable of helping with their care during the early stages. While your loved one’s spouse naturally wants to help, it’s challenging to be suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver. Make sure caregiving spouses have access to respite care so they don’t get overwhelmed trying to help. 

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Sibling Conflicts Arise Over Shared Duties

As an adult, you hope to be able to avoid most sibling squabbles. However, having a parent with a serious health condition can cause new conflicts to arise. For example, your sibling may feel like he or she is doing everything with little help, or you may have a scheduling conflict if both of you have something come up that causes you to be unable to step in and provide care. Talk to your siblings about having a professional caregiver help with your parent’s care so you can preserve your relationships. 

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they’ll likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Auburn, AL, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

Sleep May Become Disrupted

Sleep changes are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Your loved one may develop insomnia or require more sleep during the day. Either way, you can expect the people living in the household to also have difficulty sleeping. Taking your loved one to the bathroom at night and helping him or her out of bed when he or she cannot sleep might take a toll on your sleep hygiene. Working with someone in rotating shifts can help you all get the sleep you need. 

Communication Is More Challenging

Your loved one’s symptoms may also include cognitive changes. Your parent may need more time to put together thoughts or have difficulty speaking clearly, which can cause communication challenges. Practice strong communication skills, such as turning off distractions during your conversations with your loved one. Since talking is difficult when everyone is short on time, you can also use a shared calendar to help your other family members stay on top of the latest information regarding your loved one’s health. 

Everyone Is at Risk for Emotional Challenges

Caregiver fatigue and burnout are very common for families who are trying to manage a Parkinson’s diagnosis. You may be worried about your parent’s long-term health, or you may even fear your own chances of developing the disease. Tension among your family members can also build and cause you to feel anxious or depressed. Consider taking time each week to speak to a professional counselor or engage in a relaxing activity that helps you keep stress levels lower. 

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to handle, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Auburn Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at (334) 744-7100 today. 


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