Caring for someone with Parkinson's
Everyone with Parkinson’s is unique, so the symptoms will vary from person to person and their symptoms wont progress at the same speed, or in the same way as others. Symptoms, and the way they affect a person can change from day to day.
When a person is first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, they may not need to have any physical care but may need emotional support to help them to come to terms with their diagnosis.
As symptoms develop, the need for physical care may increase, and so could the demand on a carers time.
Family carers - parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and friends - provide much of the care for people with Parkinson’s in order to help them live independently, and they may be a carer for the rest of their life.
Providing care for someone with Parkinson’s can be very demanding and it is important to ensure that you make time to look after your own health, wellbeing and emotional needs. It is helpful to understand what help is available in your local area.
Speaking to people who are facing similar challenges to you can help you make sense of things. Having a network of people who you can turn to for advice and support can be very helpful.
Local support groups
Parkinson's UK Derbyshire run carers support groups throughout the county, please search the carers directory for further details of groups in your area (search 'Parkinson's' using the 'type of caring support' option).
Parkinson's UK also have Parkinson's advisors who can offer support, answer your queries and put you in touch with services:
North Derbyshire: Jacquie Gray, tel: 0344 225 9817, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Derbyshire: Karen Bown, tel: 0344 225 3629, email: email@example.com
There is also a national Parkinson's helpline you can contact on tel: 0808 800 0303
Online support and information
Parkinson's UK also have an active online community where you can get support and advice and take part in Q&A sessions.
There is a wealth of information about the condition, and about caring for someone with it on the Parkinson's UK website.
Parkinson's UK carers guide
Parkinson's UK have also produced a helpful Carers Guide written specifically for carers who look after someone with Parkinson's. As well as general advice for carers, the guide has sections on:
- practical tips and suggestions on caring for someone with Parkinson's
- how you may feel as a carer of someone with Parkinson's
- communicating with someone with Parkinson's
- Parkinson's medication and side effects
- the experiences of other carers.
The guide can be downloaded and read online, or you can order a printed copy.
Moving and Handling
Derbyshire County Council Adult Care's moving and handling team provide free training for carers. You can learn safe techniques to prevent injury. They also provide the opportunity for carers and the people they care for to 'try out' new pieces of equipment. The moving and handling team is based at The Hub in South Normanton, but offer training at other venues around the county. Please call Tel: 01629 531492 for further information.
Other helpful websites
- NHS website - Parkinson's
- Brain and Spine Foundation
- My Parkinson's Team - online network
- Age UK - Parkinson's
- Age UK Derby and Derbyshire
- Blythe House Hospice - Living Well Service
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