If you have a friend who provides care for a loved one with Parkinson’s, you may not see them as much as you used to. Caregivers organize doctor's appointments, medication schedules and often take on a slew of other responsibilities. Many find that they don’t have the time to see friends or focus on themselves. Unfortunately, those packed schedules often lead to feelings of isolation and high stress.
Our community shared advice on how friends can support busy Parkinson’s caregivers. For several of the suggestions, you don't even have to ask your friend or family member if they need help first. You can simply provide your own care and support.
1. Small favors mean a lot. Ask if your friend needs a few groceries when you’re at the store, or if you can pick up a meal on your way home.
2. Help out with housework. Mow your friend’s lawn, rake leaves or shovel snow without being asked. Stop by and help wash dishes, or ask if you can help with any other chores when you visit.
3. Give the gift of time. Many caregivers struggle to find time for themselves. Offer to sit with their loved one for a few hours while they take a break.
4. Listen with compassion. Caregiving can be stressful, and your friend would likely appreciate a chance to vent. Give your friend a call, or stop by and catch up for a few hours. Ask about what it's like to provide care on a daily basis.
5. Stop by for a visit. Watch a movie or a sports game with your friend and his or her loved one. Parkinson's disease can affect speech and movement, but your friend's loved one will likely still enjoy the company.