Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

What Parkinson’s Disease is and How To Help Those Diagnosed

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects at least 20,000 people each year. One of the famous people who suffer from the disease is Michael J. Fox, a renowned actor who starred in classic movies such as “Back to the Future” and “The Secret of My Success.” Symptoms such as tremors, hand trembling, speech difficulty, and poor balance characterize the condition. A person who has Parkinson’s disease will need help from supportive friends and family members. These are some of the ways you can assist such a person.

1. Help That Person Get the Necessary Testing

Perhaps the person you know hasn’t received a diagnosis yet, but he or she suspects that Parkinson’s disease might be present. You can help that individual by searching with him or her to find a place where they conduct Parkinson’s early detection testing. The key to being able to recover from the disorder is to detect it early. Specialists then have more options and answers than what they have when the degenerative disease has already massively progressed. Your first kind act in helping someone you think has Parkinson’s is to assist with getting that person the testing that he or she needs. You may want to go to the appointment with the person and offer moral support, as well.

2. Lend an Ear to the Person

Compassion and empathy are an emotional duo that can go a long way when you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease. Sometimes, all they need is to know that people care for them and understand their plight. Therefore, you can assist by speaking to the person on the phone if he or she needs a friend. You can let that individual know that you’re there to offer your support. Furthermore, you can offer that person an encouraging word that they will win the fight against Parkinson’s.

3. Offer Transportation Services

You can also offer your friend or family member some transportation services if you want to help. He or she is going to have to go to a lot of appointments as the disease progresses. You might be available to take the person to doctor’s appointments. Maybe you can offer rides to therapeutic appointments or shopping trips. Offering rides on your days off would be a huge help to someone who has to deal with the disorder. It would also show that you are a caring person who wants to help improve his or her life quality.

4. Help With House Chores

A person with Parkinson’s disease has restricted movement. Tasks such as inside and outside household chores will become more difficult for that person as the disease progresses. Therefore, the individual will need someone who can offer help with duties such as dishwashing, cooking, and house cleaning. The person might also have a garden that needs to be tended to or grass that needs cutting. You can show your kindness by offering some help with any or all of those tasks. Alternatively, you could pay a service provider to mow the lawn, or maybe you can hire a maid to come and help with the household duties.

5. Assist With Legal Processes

Another helpful way to assist a person with Parkinson’s disease is to help that person with legal processes. For example, the individual might want to create a will so that his or her family members will be taken care of in case of that person’s untimely passing. The person should specify how the assets will be divided and how the burial process will go. Any way that you can help with the legalities will be an honorable gesture.

Share Compassion and Empathy With a Love One

Those are just a few of the ways that you can help someone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The list of helpful ways that you can assist is not restrictive, though. The best way to find out what you can do for someone is to communicate with that person and ask what his or her needs are. That way, you will know for sure what you can do to make life more manageable for that person.

Tim Esterdahl

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