Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive disorder that affects how we move and think.
While it’s most commonly diagnosed in people who are 60 years or older, early-onset PD can present in patients as young as 40 years old. Everyone’s symptoms are different and can involve a combination of mobility issues or other related symptoms, including forgetfulness, sleep disturbances, depression, fatigue, and more. Similarly, every patient will have unique goals – whether that’s continuing to work in some capacity or simply to age-in-place comfortably as they enter their senior years.
Tandem Careplanning has a network of highly-vetted caregivers that provide Parkinson’s home care for people with PD and their families. Our Care Team helps you or your loved ones find caregivers who can readily adapt to the situation, fitting in and around family and friends, and helping them continue to do the things they love. All our caregivers undergo training and background checks beforehand. From there, you and your family get to decide whose skill set best matches your needs.
Throughout the process, Tandem is available for 24/7 support to adjust to your evolving needs, answer any questions, or address your concerns. We can also help ensure that instructions from healthcare professionals are communicated and followed, whether that’s medication management, speech therapy, or physical therapy.
Caregiving for Your Loved One with Parkinson’s
Caregiving needs for people living with PD often depend on the stage of the disease and the age of the individual. In many scenarios, the ideal solution is an in-home care approach that can adapt to the individual’s existing life and evolve alongside their needs. While family members can step up and provide some of that care, the progressive nature of PD makes it difficult to plan for the future or even the present.
So, what can you, as a primary caregiver, do to cope with the stressful job of caring for a loved one?
While there is no cure for PD, a lot is known about the disease and exciting cutting-edge research is taking place every day. The Parkinson’s Foundation has a wealth of information on disease progression, support for caregivers, descriptions of the latest research, and resources for those involved in patient care. Getting a better understanding of how the disease advances and possible treatments can help the future feel a little less unpredictable. It can also help you create a financial plan and decide if an additional caregiver is necessary.
As a care partner for a loved one with PD, the daily responsibilities can be a full-time job. Sustained work without any time for personal care, social support, or exercise can take its toll on you as a primary caregiver and ultimately lead to caregiver burnout. Carving out time for yourself is an essential part of being the best care partner you can be. Take time to go to support groups, visit friends and family, or book in some much-needed self-care. Tandem’s caregivers can help provide respite care and give you a few hours or a day to get away and care for yourself.
Maintaining Communication and Companionship
People living with PD can sometimes feel isolated due to their symptoms – no longer able to work and to participate in their previous activities to the same extent. Caregiving for a loved one with PD is undoubtedly rewarding, and Tandem’s expert caregivers can help provide additional kind-hearted and thoughtful care for you or your loved one. By developing a close companionship and connection, our caregivers help combat the negative effects of isolation and lack of close social support.