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5 Emotions that Often Accompany Parkinson’s Disease

By , 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s is often referred to as a movement disorder, but the disease can affect the way people feel and act toward others. When the psychological impact goes unmanaged, it could lead to behavioral challenges and strained relationships. As a family caregiver, you should understand the emotional effects Parkinson’s has on your senior parent and what you can do to handle those changes.

1. Denial

It’s not uncommon for seniors to refuse to accept a Parkinson’s diagnosis. However, being in denial can lead to severe consequences. Your loved one needs to take medications as prescribed and visit the doctor regularly. Failing to follow a treatment plan correctly can cause the disorder to progress and increase the risk of other health issues. Although you shouldn’t try to force your loved one to come to terms with the diagnosis, you must help him or her find positive ways to manage the new reality.

Your loved one may get a great deal of benefit from a professional caregiver, who can provide compassionate companionship as well as help with everyday tasks. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care 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.

2. Fear

The uncertainty about the disease and its effect on physical health can increase the fear seniors experience. Your loved one may get up each day worrying about what symptoms will worsen instead of trying to develop habits to reduce those symptoms and boost his or her quality of life. Offer your full support, and let your loved one know you’re there to help, no matter how challenging times may become. Words of encouragement and reassurance may give your loved one the will to keep going.

3. Depression

One of the early signs of Parkinson’s is difficulty sleeping. This issue is often present before motor symptoms occur. Failing to get high-quality sleep can lead to depression and other severe health conditions. Exercising, minimizing bedtime beverages, and maintaining a consistent schedule can increase sleep quality, lowering the risk of depression. Going to see a mental health therapist can also reduce anxiety and help your loved one develop a positive outlook on life. A counselor will provide your loved one with a safe place to vent without feeling embarrassed.

For many seniors in Clearwater, 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.

4. Helplessness

It’s normal for seniors with Parkinson’s to be angry and ask questions like “Why me?” At times, anger may lead to helplessness. You can make things less complicated by simplifying your parent’s daily tasks. For instance, if cooking has become difficult, make it a family activity and give your loved one duties in the kitchen that don’t require sturdy hands and sharp focus. You could give your loved one the responsibility of setting the dinner table, which allows him or her to go at his or her own pace. The objective is to provide your loved one with a sense of purpose that alleviates anger and helplessness.

5. Gratitude

The emotional effects of Parkinson’s aren’t always negative. Seniors can express gratitude to their family caregivers for their endless support and love. Being appreciative is more than an emotional response. It’s also a choice seniors make. They choose to be grateful, which can lead to happiness and stronger support systems. When your loved one shows an act of kindness, return it with positive gestures and kind words, which may boost his or her overall wellbeing.

Parkinson’s disease can be particularly challenging, and both seniors 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 Clearwater 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. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862.