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How Families Are Affected When a Loved One Has Parkinson’s

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The symptoms that occur secondary to Parkinson’s disease affect seniors physically, emotionally, and mentally. The life-changing disorder also affects other family members. By understanding the ramifications of Parkinson’s on family dynamics, families are better able to prepare.

Caregiving Roles

During the early phase of the disorder, seniors with Parkinson’s commonly have minor twitches or tremors. However, for the most part, they’re capable of continuing their daily routines without difficulty. As the disease progresses, physical movements become more challenging. Stiffness and a loss of coordination make it difficult to walk unassisted or unsupervised. Seniors eventually lose the ability to feed themselves, get dressed, or bathe. For seniors to remain at home, a spouse or adult child often assumes the role of caregiver. Providing care to a family member with Parkinson’s is challenging and stressful if the caregiver doesn’t receive support, understanding, and help from others.

At some point, your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from having a professional caregiver help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Family Conflicts

Opinions and thoughts on various topics commonly vary from one person to the next. As such, it’s not unusual for family members to have individual opinions concerning the care of an elderly loved one. One adult child may feel alone in providing care and lash out at other siblings, while another may not think financial or medical matters are being handled correctly. Others might disagree with the level of care provided. The different perspectives and opinions may lead to squabbles among family members. The stress conflicts cause may also affect the senior. Families must find a way to hear each other, cooperate, and establish a plan that all find acceptable.

Sleep Deprivation

Seniors with Parkinson’s often experience disruptions of sleep patterns secondary to discomfort or needing to visit the bathroom. When providing assistance, family caregivers are also at risk for sleep deprivation. If the senior arises during the night, the caregiver must also wake up and offer pain medication or physical assistance. All household members need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain health and wellbeing. If family members have the chance to take different shifts to provide assistance, sleep disturbances can be kept to a minimum.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to manage, and family caregivers can easily get overwhelmed. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Austin Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Communication Challenges

As Parkinson’s progresses, affected seniors may have increased difficulty speaking. Speech problems prevent seniors from effectively communicating their needs to others. Family members may become frustrated when trying to talk to each other. However, with a little creative thinking, families can find a way to keep the lines of communication open.

Emotional Turmoil

Family members endure a grieving process while witnessing their loved one face the challenges of Parkinson’s. They worry about health concerns that may surface in the future as well as their own chances of developing the disorder. Family caregivers are at risk of burnout if they don’t have the support they need. Attending a Parkinson’s support group may be beneficial.

Many seniors in the later stages of Parkinson’s can continue to live at home, but they will likely need assistance from a family member or other caregiver to do so safely. For many seniors in Austin, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (512) 623-7800 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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