Realistic Care Goals for Parkinson's Disease

Posted: 7/19/2016 5:52 PM by Interim HealthCare
Parkinson's disease is not something that happens suddenly. Your parent will not be perfectly healthy and normal functioning one day and then wake up the next morning with severe tremors and cognitive limitations. Rather, this is a progressive disease that generally begins very subtly and worsens the further your parent moves into it. This means, however, that even after your parent has received their diagnosis of PD they will still be more than capable of being an active and engaged participant in the planning of their future care. While ensuring that their voice is heard and that you do as much the way that they want you to as possible is an important part of showing respect and love, and protecting your parent's dignity, it is important that they are realistic.

Some seniors go into planning for their future care with exceptional optimism. They do not understand the progression of the disease or believe that they will somehow be different and that it will be many years before they are really going to need any type of care, whether it is from you or from a home care provider. Others go the opposite direction when planning their care. They are extremely pessimistic about their future and think that they have already lost their ability to live the life that they want so they might as well just give up and not try to pursue any type of management, treatment, or care.

Neither perception is healthy for your parent and it is important as their family caregiver that you take steps to help them resolve this approach and be more realistic about their care goals. Being realistic will allow your loved one to express themselves fully and appropriately, record their wishes in the way that is right for them, and be an active participant not just in planning their care, but in following through with it as well.

Use these tips to help you guide your parent in being realistic with their care goals:

Educate them. Team up with your parent's doctor to educate them about their condition. This should include the stage where they are currently as well as their prognosis for progression. By understanding the clinical details of the condition and getting advice and recommendations from their doctor, your parent can have a clearer, more realistic view of what to really expect.

Discuss the benefits of care. Whether your parent has expressed that they do not believe they will need home care any time soon, or they have decided that care will not be helpful in any way, take the time to present the potential benefits of care. Talk to them about why you think having a care provider could enhance their life and what you see this care provider doing for them. Let them talk about how they perceive care at this point so that they can begin to structure their care goals around the actual benefits rather than what they originally thought about it.

Stay flexible. Know that it is not guaranteed that even if you take the time to really explain your parent's condition and their progression with them, and have them understand the value of an in home senior care services provider, that they will immediately change their mind. Stay flexible and be willing to talk to them whenever they are ready to revisit these goals.

If you have an aging loved one in need of home care contact Interim HealthCare today.