If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may be in a place where you are considering becoming their family caregiver. While this may seem like an obvious choice to you because you want them to get the care they need to manage this progressive condition in the best way possible, it is important you take the time to truly evaluate the role and prepare yourself. Understanding what this role will require of you can help you to determine if you are ready for it, and guide you to make important decisions about supplemental care and assistance for your senior, such as from a home care provider. One of the elements of this care role you will need to understand is the physical requirements. Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Parkinson’s can be physically demanding, and it is important that you are either prepared for the challenges, or ready to put the proper measures into place ot handle them.
Some physical capabilities you will need as a family caregiver for a senior living with Parkinson’s disease include:
- Strength. Elderly adults with PD often require physical support with mobility, such as helping them with walking, transferring, changing positions, climbing stairs, and other activities. You must have the physical strength to provide this support safely and confidently.
- Range of motion. Along with being able to physically support your aging parent, you must also be able to move with them. Twisting, turning, bending, crouching, and other similar movements provide more stability to your parent, and help them to perform physical tasks throughout their day.
- Stamina. It can be very challenging to keep up with everything your senior needs physically, especially when added to the other things you need to do on a daily basis. You must have the stamina and energy to keep up without becoming exhausted or fatigued, which can be dangerous for both of you.
- Health. Senior adults are more vulnerable to illness and infection than younger people, and this can be especially true for those living with Parkinson’s disease. If you are prone to illness and infection, this can put your senior at risk.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, and at times even overwhelming. As you are facing these challenges, however, you do not have to feel alone. There is help available in the form of home care. Having an in-home senior care services provider with your parent allows you to take a step back from these care responsibilities to reduce your caregiver stress, take care of your own health and well-being, and fulfill at the other responsibilities and obligations in your life. The personalized care of this provider ensures your parent is able to manage their challenges and limitations in the ways that are right for them now, and also take steps to prepare for the increased challenges of the future. This can make this difficult progression smoother and easier for both your aging parent, and for you.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN SMITHFIELD, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.
Kathy is a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) who is active in several other senior related organizations, including Alzheimer’s State Champion program, Friends of the Northern Wake Senior Center board member, Ambassador for the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, Aging Life Care Association (ALCA), Health Affairs Round Table (HART), and Senior Information Networking Group (SING).