Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is frightening, emotional, and it can be overwhelming. Seniors with the disease have concerns about how it will impact their life and relationships with family and friends. They may also worry about what the future will bring. With so many emotions stirring around, your aging relative may slip into negativity. However, having a positive attitude is important to quality of life and emotional health.
If your older family member with PD could use some help getting back to positivity, below are some tips to help.
#1: Consider Counseling
If the senior is showing signs of depression or other mental health problems, they should talk to their doctor. Not only can the doctor treat the condition, they can also refer the older adult to a counselor. A counselor can help the senior to talk through their feelings and understand where they are coming from. Counselors can also work with the senior and their family members, helping everyone to cope with the diagnosis.
Home health care providers can drive older adults with PD to their counseling appointments and wait to drive them home afterward.
#2: Engage in Uplifting Activities
Encourage your aging relative to continue doing the activities they enjoy. They may need to find different ways to do some of them as the disease progresses. An occupational therapist may be able to help with that.
Home health care providers can assist the older adult with activities. They can help to gather supplies, drive them to places where an activity is done or to pick up supplies for a hobby, and assist with any steps that are difficult.
#3: Find Ways to Help Others
Doing things that help other people can help an older adult with PD to focus on something other than their own problems. It also feels good to do something for someone else. In the early stages of PD, older adults can continue to work in volunteer positions, make items to donate, or simply do things to help family members and friends. For example, making a meal for an ill friend can help the senior with PD to feel useful. They might also knit hats for newborn babies or create toys for homeless animals.
Home health care providers can help your aging relative to continue going to a volunteer position by driving them there. Home health care providers can also help with things the older adult does at home to help others, such as making items or cooking a meal.