While caring for a spouse with Parkinson’s disease, you’re likely to encounter a number of challenges, as the symptoms can cause your spouse to struggle to communicate clearly with you and can decrease his or her former energy levels. The disease can even bring on emotional challenges such as depression and anxiety—for you both. The good news is, with patience and care you can keep your relationship strong! Here are some great ways to get started.
Take Care of Yourself
When caring for a spouse with a chronic condition, it’s essential to spend time on your own self-care so that you’ll have the physical and emotional energy to meet the challenges ahead. For example, keep participating in the hobbies you’ve always loved, head over to the gym for a workout, or meet a friend for coffee. Finding a Parkinson’s support group is essential for self-care as well, as you’ll meet other people going through similar challenges. And a great way to strengthen your relationship with your spouse is to find a support group the two of you could attend together.
Attend Appointments with Your Spouse
Show support for your partner and also help them communicate with health professionals more clearly by being an advocate for them. Since your partner may find it harder to communicate with people they don’t know as well, your presence will be a comfort and a help, as you can listen carefully, take notes, and help your partner process the information afterwards.
Knowing what you should expect as the disease progresses is essential for both you and your loved one. When you learn together, you provide support for one another and can also be on the same page with what and how to tell other family members and friends about the disease. There are many great educational resources for Parkinson’s online, including The Parkinson's Foundation.
Try New Methods of Communication
Communication can become difficult for those with Parkinson’s disease, so finding good ways to communicate with your spouse is key to keeping your relationship strong. Try connecting with a speech therapist, using other forms of communication like email or texting, and again, making sure you learn what to expect from the disease so you can be prepared.
Find Activities You Can Still Enjoy Together
While some former activities may become too difficult, others may still be possible. Engaging in activities together can strengthen your bond and remind you both that you have a relationship that is above and beyond the challenges of this disease. And if you can’t find many things that the two of you used to enjoy together, make a list of some new things you could try!
Consider a Parkinson’s Care Facility
If caregiving becomes too much for you to manage on your own, Danbury Senior Living can help. With the same exceptional quality of care we provide in all our facilities, you’ll know your loved one will get the best care possible. For more information, contact or visit our communities nearest you.