Caring for You
What you experience as a caregiver will change over time. And depending on your age, your own personal situation and your relationship to your loved one, your challenges and experiences will be unique. However, you are not alone! In this section we include tips from people who have been there on what you will experience related to emotions, physical changes and more. The most important thing to remember is that the person you are taking care of is only as good as you are; if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of your loved one.
You can't be a good caregiver to someone else unless you take care of yourself. Your health needs, work life and social activities all deserve attention, so make sure to find respite options.
Establish a pattern of taking care of your own physical and mental health needs as well as those of your loved one. It is never too late to start!
Unfortunately, stress is a part of life when caring for someone with advanced Parkinson’s over time. Be honest with yourself and others about your needs and what you think might help.
You will experience a range of emotions over the course of your loved one’s Parkinson’s journey. Caring for yourself requires understanding the changes in the person you’re caring for and adapting to them.
While not everyone with advanced Parkinson’s has dementia or paranoia, some do, and it can have serious effects on the caregiver. Remember, it is the disease talking, not your loved one.
Living well with Parkinson’s requires attention to mind, body and spirit, both for the person with Parkinson’s and the caregiver. Spirituality is often the journey to maintain hope and optimism.
No two people have the same caregiving experience, so life after caregiving will be unique, too. Use the same support networks you relied on during your time as caregiver to help you cope now.