Do you have what it takes to be a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with Parkinson’s disease? This is likely a question you’ve never asked yourself, but if you are in the position of stepping into the role of being a caregiver for one of the one million people throughout the United States who are currently living with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to take the time to not only ask this question, but to really evaluate the role and yourself and find the answer. There are many characteristics that can help you to not only be the best quality caregiver possible for your aging parents, but also to make this arrangement as beneficial, meaningful, and healthy as possible for both of you. Recognizing your own challenges and limitations in these areas can also help to illuminate the importance of finding further assistance for your senior, such as with the help of a home care provider.
Some of the characteristics that can help you as a family caregiver for a senior who is living with Parkinson’s disease include:
- Courage. You are going to face challenging situations, difficult decisions, and upsetting moments during this journey. Courage will help you to face them head-on and do what you know is right for your senior.
- Flexibility. Having a plan for your parent’s care throughout the progression with the disease is important. Being able to recognize when that plan isn’t working anymore and being willing to change it is just as important. Flexibility is a crucial part of being able to adjust to the way your parent is progressing through the disease, and the specific symptoms and challenges they are facing so you can consistently give them the care and support they need.
- Humor. Much of what you are going to face with your senior during this progression is difficult, and it can be emotionally challenging for both of you. Having a sense of humor and being willing to use that humor can make these situations less difficult. There are moments when something that happens will seem funny. Be willing to laugh and find that levity. Be careful to never disrespect or humiliate your parent, and help them understand that your laughter is meant to be something you are experiencing with them, rather than at them.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be one of the most meaningful decisions you make during your life. It can also put you in a position of facing a variety of challenges, incredibly difficult decisions, and hard situations. This makes it extremely important for you to take the time to consider this role, and how you will handle it in the best ways. Understanding the characteristics you’ll need to get through your caregiver experience that successfully can help you to better evaluate the challenging situations you face, make decisions with more confidence, and continue to place the most value and emphasis on your parent as an individual and your relationship with them, rather than the challenges they are facing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Burnsville, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.