At some point your parent living with Parkinson’s disease is going to need assistance with some of the basics of daily life, but, if he or she is still living in their own home, a little help in the form of a caregiver trained in disabled care will make a great difference. Whether for a few hours a day or a few days a week, this may be all they need to continue living alone.

As the disease progresses the challenges will increase, to the point that trying to carry out tasks that once were easy become a major challenge, which is when you may decide to bring your parent into your home.

From the outset, the more you know about the disease and the stages of it, the better equipped you’ll be to care for your parent as the disease progresses.

The reality that this is a disease for which there is no cure is, to say the least, a painful one, for you and your parent. The diagnosis itself is always a shock to the family, where all the stages of grief take centre stage for all.

Here are some of the challenges you’ll face if you’re the main caregiver to a parent with Parkinson’s disease

Defining your role as caregiver:

Becoming caregiver to a parent or loved one in the early stages of Parkinson’s may not even feel that you’re actually giving care in an active capacity. This is especially true if your parent is still able to take care of most tasks that require physical effort on their part.

Because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, this role will keep changing and you’ll need to find ways of adjusting the level of care your loved one needs through the various stages.

Defining emotional health

If your loved one is still mostly independent and can do without much assistance, it’s easy to lose sight of the emotional support your parent will need as he or she gets to grips with this disease.

Aside from the physical changes and progression of this disease, anxiety and depression are symptoms that affect the quality of life in around 50% of patients. This doesn’t mean that everyone will suffer from depression, nor does it mean that these symptoms can’t be treated.

Anxiety and fear of what the future may look like for someone diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is understandable, and there will be changes to their personality as the disease progresses, which is why knowing more about how to give the emotional support your loved one needs is essential.

Defining your own health as caregiver

You’ll only be able to give the degree of care to your loved one living with Parkinson’s disease, as it progresses, if you make sure to take care of yourself too.

If you’re taking care of yourself you’ll find that it’s an essential ingredient in maintaining the wellbeing of your loved one, based on your sense of wellbeing.

Finding a strong support group will help you to cope with the challenges of being the caregiver and will also show you that you are not alone.

As sole caregiver, you’ll be facing many changes in responsibilities as the disease progresses, such as assisting him or her with daily activities or assisting with the management of medications.

Make sure to give yourself respite from your role as caregiver

If all you need is a part-time caregiver to step into your role as you take a respite to charge your batteries in a way that works for you. This also applies to whether you and your family are unable to play this role due to commitments at work, or other responsibilities that take you away from home.

The most important thing to you will be the feeling that you can entrust the wellbeing of your loved one to a caregiver with a fully vetted background and the best training in South Africa. 

This is the surest way that you can have peace of mind when you can’t be there for your parent.

CareChamp has taken caregiving in South Africa to a whole new level, not just in the quality of their home based nursing services, but in the flexibility of tailored and affordable plans the management team is able to offer their clients.