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January 10, 2017

5 Ways to Be an Impactful Caregiver for a Loved One with Parkinson's Disease

Watching a loved one struggle with the progression of Parkinson's Disease can be tough, both emotionally and physically. You can use these tips to make sure you are making the best of the situation for the both of you.

Seek Additional Healthcare: Apart from the traditional care for Parkinson’s Disease, you may benefit from additional physical therapy. Plasticity Brain Centers can help your brain to discover new neuro-pathways to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. BrainBased® Therapy can give the patient some independence they may have once lost due to the disease which can ease the strain of the relationship with their caregiver.

Join a Support Group: There are support groups for patients, for caregivers, or combined groups. Talking with others who share the same difficulties, questions or concerns can be therapeutic. As you share experiences you may begin to realize you are not alone and that there are many others out there who are finding ways to cope and heal. You may learn, or teach others, the routines you have created and expand information within the community.

Make Health a Priority: Both the patient and caregiver are on a journey that leads to many avenues in the world of healthcare. Be sure to research which treatments are available to help decide which is right for you. Additionally, make living a healthy lifestyle an important part of your relationship. Make sure to eat right and find the time for exercise. Health is important for both of you so make it a way to bond.

Take a Break: Spending time together is important, but taking breaks is equally important. Having some time apart can reduce strain on the relationship and give the caregiver a chance to reduce stress. Reducing stress in the relationship is key to maintaining a supportive bond.

Maintain Shared Interests: Remember the times before the Parkinson’s diagnosis? Do not neglect those shared interests or experiences, simply due to a diagnosis. Acknowledging that you have a relationship that is stronger than the disease is important for both patient and caregiver. If the interest or hobby is no longer physically possible, you can still try to find a way to modify it and incorporate it into your lives.

As a caregiver, you hold a lot of responsibility in your hands. Your loved one counts on you and it is important to maintain a relationship that is healthy for both of you. Find the time for yourself, know your healthcare options, and know that there is hope and help when you need it. Even with a neuro-degenerative condition such as Parkinson’s, the brain is capable of becoming more efficient through neuroplasticity. There ARE therapies that make the brain work better, improve quality of life, slow progression, and enable people like yourself and your loved ones, to do the things that you love.

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