How to Help Someone with Parkinson’s from a Distance
The days when extended families lived together on neighboring plots of land are, unfortunately, a thing of the past in many cases. With loved ones spread apart, it’s not always possible to provide the caring, hands-on care and support that older family members often need, especially when a chronic health condition – like Parkinson’s disease – creates additional concerns.
Yet even from a distance, there are still plenty of ways to assist. The Michael J. Fox Foundation offers these tips on how to help someone with Parkinson’s from afar:
- Get organized. Take and keep detailed notes about medications being taken, treatments, emergency contacts, and other aspects of the person’s care needs. A digital version of this important information can be easily updated and shared with others who have a vested interest in the person’s care (with their consent).
- Keep in touch. Make it a priority to reach out to the person with a daily phone call, email, or text, or even through FaceTime or Zoom, depending on which option is preferred by the senior. Check in with the person’s primary caregiver too, who may be feeling overwhelmed with the stress of providing care.
- Arrange for support. Coordinate the delivery of meals, help with yard work, or a professional in-home caregiver, such as one from Hired Hands Homecare, to assist with housekeeping, running errands, personal care, or other specific needs.
- Visit whenever you can. There’s nothing better than in-person visits when they can be arranged. Use these times together to not just catch up on medical issues, but to enjoy some light-hearted conversation and laughter unrelated to the disease.
Emotional support is also crucial for someone with Parkinson’s or another chronic condition. Health issues can take a heavy toll on mental health. Encourage the person to:
- Get their feelings out through conversations with close, trusted friends or family members, a professional counselor, or by journaling
- Cry when they feel overwhelmed, as this is a healthy and cathartic way to release emotions
- Take time each day to engage in a calming pastime, such as listening to favorite music, reading, prayer, meditation, a warm bath, etc.
- Engage in activities that are fulfilling
For more tips on how to help someone with Parkinson’s from a distance and to arrange for care at home to ensure life is the very best it can be, contact Hired Hands Homecare’s experts in home care in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas. You can reach us any time at (866) 940-4343 or through our online contact form.