In general, people are familiar with the physical challenges associated with Parkinson’s disease. Tremors, posture and balance difficulty, and possible changes in a person’s speech are easily recognizable symptoms. Mood changes however, including depression, anxiety, anger, apathy and more, can have a serious impact on a Parkinson’s patient, as well as on those who provide care for them.
As a caregiver for an aging loved one with Parkinson’s, it is important to keep in mind that changes in mood are not a direct result of something you’ve done. Mood swings can be tied to medications and are frequently a result of frustration with not being able to complete daily tasks or activities. This frustration can easily escalate to anger as the senior loses their independence and ability to care for themselves, a difficult life adjustment that can lead to depression.
As a caregiver, there are several things you can do to help manage your loved ones mood swings:
- Try not to overreact. Your loved one responds to how you react. Therefore, remaining calm in a chaotic or frustrating situation can go a long way in helping them feel the same.
- Be patient. Allow your aging loved one to do as much as they can for themselves, with the understanding that fatigue is something Parkinson’s patients experience daily. This can help instill a sense of confidence and independence to help ward off negative emotions.
- Ensure a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation resulting from the physical symptoms and pains of Parkinson’s can also leave a senior irritable. Taking steps to improve their sleep cycle can help to enhance overall spirit and reduce mood swings.
- Seek support groups and professionals. If depression or withdrawal is becoming an issue, support groups and therapy can act as an outlet for Parkinson’s patients to share their feelings. Realizing they are not alone can contribute to positive feelings and emotions.
As a caregiver, you can help your loved one by being realistic, compassionate, patient and non-judgmental. If you feel as if the care responsibilities are more than you can handle alone, contact Home Care Assistance of Vancouver at 778-279-3634 or visit our website at www.homecareassistancevancouver.ca and learn about our specialty care plans for seniors with Parkinson’s. With the support of our highly qualified caregivers, you can rest assured knowing your loved one is in professional and caring hands 24/7.