In honor of April being Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we wanted to shine some light on the incredible family Caregivers in the Parkinson’s community. This disease progresses differently for everyone, but it progresses none the less. Caregivers of a loved one with Parkinson’s Disease carry so much on their shoulders, and it can be very taxing emotionally, physically, financially, and mentally.
We work closely with many clients who are navigating this disease and have learned so much from them in the process. From that, we’ve created 10 tips for Parkinson’s Caregivers:
1. Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
“Perfect is the enemy of good.” Remember that you are MORE than enough and are doing the best you can.
2. Seek out moments of joy to share with your loved one.
What these moments look like will change over time, but it’s incredibly important to remember that no matter what, joy still exists if you look for it.
3. Ask for help.
Yep, we know you’ve heard this, but it’s cliché for a reason. You can not do this alone, and at some point you will need to ask for help…so do yourself a favor and ask BEFORE you burnout.
4. It’s ok to NOT be ok.
This journey is a hard one. It’s ok to admit to yourself and others that you’re struggling. This is how you release the emotions and others know you need support.
5. Determine your limits.
You will need to create limits with others and your time. It will be an ever-changing cycle, but it’s important that you know where your boundaries are and stick to them.
6. It takes a village…find yours.
This is us saying “ask for help” again, but in a different way. (nudge, nudge) Find a few people you can count on for support – to physically be there and help, or maybe just emotional support – and lean on them! And remember, Sunways can be part of your village!
7. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
We know the term “self care” is overplayed, but it’s so incredibly important. Some time to journal, a daily walk, a bath or an afternoon of respite…whatever you need to recharge, do it. You’ll be a better Caregiver for it!
8. Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Sometimes it’s hard to even catch your breath, let alone plan ahead. That said, the burden of planning usually falls on Caregivers. When it comes to planning for respite, care and long term resources, let Sunways Senior Living Concierge take that off your plate and simplify it for you! We’re a free service and it’s WHAT we do! www.sunwaysseniorliving.com
9. Communication is key.
Even though it may be hard, continue to be open with your loved one. This will encourage them to do the same and help you avoid resentment.
10. Structured support can be a lifeline.
Support groups and/or seeing a licensed therapist are so important for the Caregiver journey when your loved one has Parkinson’s. If you are unsure of resources like this in your area, please reach out to us and we will help!
We are sending love and support to our Parkinson’s Disease community!