Dec 27, 2022
Adult children of a parent with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often want to help their parent but do not know how to begin. If they get involved early, they can detect changes that need to be addressed later on. A good first step is learning about the disease, its symptoms, treatment, and course. From there, they may want to become an active part of the support team that each person with PD should have from the time of diagnosis. Adult children can help schedule doctor’s appointments; attend them with their parent, navigate insurance and other financial concerns, and keep their parent moving and socially involved by engaging in sports and activities with them. This all depends on the parent’s willingness to have their children help out with some aspects of their lives.
In this episode, Social Worker Kelly Arney, MSSW, outreach coordinator for the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, has several good pieces of advice for different situations, including communicating with the parent about how much help they will accept without giving up their autonomy.