How to Accept Loved One's Parkinson's Diagnosis & Provide Them with Care & Support

by Brent Woods

If your loved one has had difficulties in maintaining his balance in recent months and has dealt with slightly shaky hands resulting in him being diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease, you may feel worried about your loved one's condition and the quality of his life deteriorating. The tips below will help you come to terms with your loved one's diagnosis and will help you provide him with the care that he needs to maintain his livelihood. 

Join a Support Group

Seek a support group that is designed for friends and family members of people who are suffering from a debilitating disease. If you are unable to find a local group, ask your loved one's doctor if they have any knowledge of informal meetings that will provide you with more insight concerning Parkinson's disease.

During a group meeting, listen to the stories that other people share to determine if you can relate to some of them. Other people who have witnessed the effects of Parkinson's may provide you with insight that will help your loved one maintain his independence and dignity. If you feel up to speaking, share your loved one's story and listen to feedback that you are provided with. 

Attend Neurological Appointments with Your Loved One

Your loved one's specialist will want your loved one to attend a series of appointments that will help reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of Parkinson's disease. Brain stimulation, reflex tests, and physical therapy sessions are some examples of neurological services and treatment options that your loved one may be offered. Your loved one may also be provided with a prescription for medication that will reduce tremors that could alter your loved one's balance.

Show your loved one how much you care about him by supporting him during each appointment. Offer to transport your family member to his appointments and wait for him in the waiting room. Maintain an open line of communication with your loved one's specialist and provide the doctor with information about any sudden changes in your loved one's condition. 

Install Handicap Devices & Provide Assistance with Tactical Tasks

If your loved one lives in his own residence and wants to continue doing so, install handicap devices in rooms, such as safety rails or ramps. Handicap devices will make it easier for your loved one to maneuver through each room in his home and will help him maintain his self-esteem since he will not have to rely upon others when he would like to move around in his home.