(Family Features) Caring for a family member or loved one with a serious health condition like Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be a big undertaking and often takes a concerted effort from many family members and friends to provide the best care possible. Even if you’re not available to provide hands-on assistance on a consistent basis, there are ways to offer aid from a distance.
PD is one situation that may have an impact on the entire family, necessitating a broad care network. The second-most common neurodegenerative disorder behind Alzheimer’s disease, PD affects nearly 1 million nationwide, with more than 60, 000 Americans newly diagnosed each year. Because it can be hard to tell if a loved one has the illness and no two people experience it quite the same way, some early signs in order to look with regard to include tremors, slowness of movement plus stiffness or even rigidity, among others.
Organizations like the particular Parkinson’s Foundation have resources that can help you and your family users provide long-distance care to a loved one. As an ally to care partners, the Foundation aims to make life better for people living with PD and their families by improving care and advancing research toward a cure.
Experts from the Foundation offer these tips for long caregivers:
Learn about your own loved one’s condition. You will be better able to supply support if you have a basic understanding of the particular disease. Be sure to gather information on the condition’s symptoms, how it is diagnosed plus what treatment options are available.
Be well versed in your loved your needs. Learn about his or her general health and keep a list associated with doctors and neighbors along with their contact information. Also keep any pertinent financial plus legal documents readily accessible.
Keep an open line of communication with the primary caregiver. As treatment partner responsibilities often increase over time – and can easily lead to burnout – become sure to let the primary caregiver know you are there regarding them. Consider sending a simple gift such as a hand-written card, flowers or a gift cards for the self-care appointment, like a massage.
Consistently offer in order to help. There are many ways a person can offer you support. If in doubt, directly ask how you can end up being of the most help. Even if you cannot be present to offer hands-on support, consider sending meals, troubleshooting technology issues or providing other help based on your own skillset. A person may even offer to have your loved one come stay with you for a while, if they are able to travel, to give the primary caregiver a respite from duties.
Call often. Set a designated day and time each week in order to chat along with your beloved plus make the call faithfully, even if just to catch up for a few minutes. Consider using a video calling service so you can see each other, if possible, to supply an additional level of connection.
Talk finances. Many people won’t inquire for financial help, even if the limitations of a fixed income mean going without necessities, so it may become best to have this conversation proactively. If a regular subsidy isn’t feasible, offer to buy groceries online, send the weekly meal, purchase medical supplies or help with household utility bills, transportation costs or even home-related services.
Visit when possible. If your budget allows, plan regular trips to check upon your loved one and plan ahead with the main care partner so that you can provide respite. Offer to take on key responsibilities during your visit and offer a listening ear intended for the main caregiver while you’re there.
You can find an array of free sources, including a comprehensive Caring plus Coping guidebook, a video library, podcast episodes, courses and a good online community, at Parkinson. org/Caregivers . To learn more and find additional assets in English or Spanish, visit the particular website or call the Parkinson’s Basis toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (1-800-473-4636).
Photos courtesy of Getty Images