Coping with Parkinson’s disease in 5 steps

Coping with Parkinson’s Disease can be difficult for the patient, but also for their family. Learning you or a loved one is living with Parkinson’s can make memory care and home care a top priority as part of treatment. But there are other things to consider when managing the different stages of Parkinson’s to improve your overall well-being.

There are ways to cope with Parkinson’s Disease that can help slow down the progression of the disease and make a recent diagnosis easier to handle.

Here are 5 steps to Coping with Parkinson’s Disease:

 

1. Learn about the stages of Parkinson’s from your doctor and remain calm when learning about the diagnosis.

Part of the anxiety Parkinson’s patients feel is not knowing what to expect as the disease progresses. Speaking with a primary care doctor or neurologist to give you general information on Parkinson’s can help alleviate the stress of a new diagnosis.

Learning about the five stages of Parkinson’s Disease can help you stay calm when receiving the diagnosis and can help you develop a treatment plan that works for your specific symptoms. Ultimately, the more you know about the disease, the easier it will be to cope.

2. Avoid isolating yourself to reduce the anxiety about a recent diagnosis.

It’s common for Parkinson’s patients to isolate themselves when first receiving the diagnosis. Parkinson’s Disease patients often times require help from homecare and therapy centers, as well as assistance from close family members to maintain a healthy, functional lifestyle. This dependency causes patients to avoid interacting with others so they are not a burden.

A better approach to coping with Parkinson’s is for patients to surround themselves with friends, family, and others in society to reduce stress and anxiety as a result of the diagnosis. Mind & Mobility Home Care & Therapy Centers not only creates an environment where PD patients can socialize, but they also provide services from a licensed social worker as part of their holistic approach to treatment.

A clinical social worker can offer psychiatric rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and care management to ensure Parkinson’s patients are addressing their mental and emotional needs. This aspect of treatment is designed to lessen the effects of memory loss and speech impairments that may develop as part of the diagnosis.

3. Speak with a mental health professional about coping with Parkinson’s Disease.

Once a Parkinson’s patient has learned about the stages of the diagnosis and has shared their concerns with friends and family, the next step is to speak with a psychotherapist or clinical social worker. A mental health professional is trained in helping patients process their feelings in a way that is healthy and conducive to their treatment.

Venting to friends and family, although helpful, doesn’t always provide the best solutions for dealing with those underlying concerns. A clinical social worker can help Parkinson’s patients cope with their emotions as the disease progresses, as well as help explain the patient’s feelings to the family or caregiver. This holistic approach to Parkinson’s Disease treatment will produce the best results for patients living with the disease.

4. Join a Parkinson’s Disease support group to understand other patients’ experiences and to share your own.

As much as a person with Parkinson’s explains their feelings to others, the person who will understand perhaps the most is another person with Parkinson’s. That is why it is suggested for Parkinson’s patients to seek out support groups to connect with others who have also been diagnosed or know someone who is. 

Support groups for people with Parkinson’s (PWP) are at no cost and welcome the patient’s spouses, relatives, and caregivers. Many support groups operate once or twice a month, giving patients an opportunity to share their experiences living with Parkinson’s, as well as getting to know people beyond their diagnosis. To find a PWP support group in South Florida click here.

5. Coping with Parkinson’s Disease is easier when you maintain a positive attitude.

A Parkinson’s diagnosis can make patients lose sight of all there is to be grateful for. By appreciating loved ones and friends, coping with Parkinson’s becomes a little easier. Taking the time to dance a little or box at one of the Mind & Mobility classes can help PD patients forget about their alignments. Mind & Mobility also offers an online-based “Brain Gym” for patients to exercise their minds, especially during the early stages of memory loss.

By participating in activities that keep the mind and body active are ultimately what determine the livelihood of a patient with Parkinson’s. Living with Parkinson’s is a challenge, but only to the extent patients let the diagnosis affect them. By staying positive, patients can cope with the incurable neuromuscular disease and continue to live a happy, healthy life.

To access the “Brain Gym,” you may visit one of the Mind & Mobility outpatient locations at Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Palm Beach. Interested in home care? Call 1 (800) 650-5289 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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