loader from loading.io

Parkinson's Caregiving


Release Date: 09/07/2021

Halloween During COVID show art Halloween During COVID


In this episode we will discuss Halloween Safety during COVID   ​ Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who at one time could dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety. ​Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and some ideas to replace typical parties during these uncommonly scary times.

Short Bowel Syndrome show art Short Bowel Syndrome


Jenny was diagnosed as a child with the rare diseases Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Short Bowel Syndrome. She lived with an ileostomy for 6 years before having it reversed into a straight pull thru. In her spare time, Jenny shares about life with rare disease on Life's a Polyp blog and Youtube channel. She raises funds for NORD FAP Research Fund through Life's a Polyp Shop and is writing a children's book about FAP. Jenny graduated with a Master's of Social Work and works with individuals with chronic illness. Short bowel syndrome is a group of problems related to poor absorption...

After Care for COVID show art After Care for COVID


Marci Bene, is a health coach from Hungary with a focus on the human nervous system and after he suffered through Covid a couple months back he created a protocol to bounce back from the after-effects of this virus. Thanks to it he recovered quickly.  He is trying to reach out to as many as he can to educate on the functions and workings of the nervous system. The protocol was designed so that anyone can do it and the results can be measured in days not months. COVID is real, and we believe in getting as much information to our listeners as possible.  If Marci can help, it's a good...

Emergency Nursing show art Emergency Nursing


"The Desire to Serve, The Ability to Perform, The Courage to Act" ​ Nicholas Palczer host of the new podcast: Bottom Line Nursing! He has his Bachelors in Nursing, Associates in Nursing, &  Associates in Fire Science He is currently an Active Duty Air Force Nurse, which he has been for 9 years and was an Enlisted Firefighter/EMT before he got commissioned!  He has been stationed at overseas and stateside assignments. He is a Paramedic candidate and a BLS/ALS Instructor. 

Neurodegenerative Disorders show art Neurodegenerative Disorders


Dr. Mafee is dual board certified in Neurology and Integrative Medicine.  As such, she is passionate about using functional and integrative philosophies to prevent & reverse a host of chronic conditions.  Dr. Mafee is particularly focused on helping patients work through neurodegenerative disorders.   Dr. Mafee joined the Case Integrative Health team in March 2020. ​ Neurodegenerative disease is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the human brain. Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system which includes the brain and...

Vertigo A Dizzying Diagnosis! show art Vertigo A Dizzying Diagnosis!


This week we have the pleasure of speaking once again with Lauren Ryan.  She joined our show previously and was more than happy to join us again to discuss a dizzying diagnosis: VERTIGO!    Vertigo is a symptom, rather than a condition itself. It's the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. This feeling may be barely noticeable, or it may be so severe that you find it difficult to keep your balance and do everyday tasks. Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds, or they may last much longer. If you have severe...

Parkinson's Caregiving show art Parkinson's Caregiving


Our guest on todays show is Elizabeth "Liz" Coy.  She is a full time Business Development Executive, and now also a caregiver for her dad who has developed Parkinson's.   People with Parkinson’s disease rely on caregivers for a wide range of support — from driving them to doctors’ appointments to helping them get dressed. As the disease progresses, dependence on caregivers increases substantially. Caregivers can help people with Parkinson’s adjust to the disease’s effects on the body. And knowing that a loved one is cared for can help the entire family adjust to the...

Processed Food Addiction show art Processed Food Addiction


Our guest today will be speaking about processed food addictions.  Dr. Ifland has been creating breakthroughs in recovery from food addiction from 1999 with her first popular book to 2018 when her textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery was released by CRC Press.   She founded the online Addiction Reset Community (ARC) in 2016, . The Facebook group, ‘Food Addiction Education’ (2014) and (2014) provide free support.  Reset Week  is the first online live video program for withdrawal (2018).  ARC Manager Training is a program...

Travel with a Disability show art Travel with a Disability


Our guest this week is Tarita Davenock, M.A. CTC  CEO,   Our guest this week is Tarita Davenock, M.A. CTC  CEO, Travel for All Inc. ​ Tarita has built a reputation as a global expert in the field of accessible travel, and inclusive tourism.   A speaker and contributor to the Hungton Post, and other travel publications she is sought after for her extensive business knowledge as an entrepreneur with a disability and is passionate about creating access for all.    Tarita has served in a diverse range of roles over the years in promoting greater accessibility...

Oral Cancer show art Oral Cancer


According to the World Health Organization there are approximately 650,000 new cases of oral cancer each year world wide.  Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat. Oral cancers develop on the tongue, the tissue lining the mouth and gums, under the tongue, at the base of the tongue, and the area of the throat at the back of the mouth. Oral cancer accounts for roughly three percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, or about 53,000 new cases each year. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as...

More Episodes

Our guest on todays show is Elizabeth "Liz" Coy.  She is a full time Business Development Executive, and now also a caregiver for her dad who has developed Parkinson's.  

Liz & her dad

People with Parkinson’s disease rely on caregivers for a wide range of support — from driving them to doctors’ appointments to helping them get dressed. As the disease progresses, dependence on caregivers increases substantially.

Caregivers can help people with Parkinson’s adjust to the disease’s effects on the body. And knowing that a loved one is cared for can help the entire family adjust to the diagnosis.

But the person with Parkinson’s disease isn’t the only one who should be cared for.

Caregivers must take care of themselves too. Being a caregiver can be a complicated — as well as a physically and emotionally draining — experience.

Here are 12 ways to handle your role as a caregiver without neglecting your own well-being.


1. Educate yourself

As caregiver, it’s important for you to become familiar with all aspects of the disease. This will ensure better care for the patient and easier transitions for you as the disease progresses.

It will take time and continual effort for you to learn about the many varied Parkinson’s symptoms and how to manage them. As time goes on, you will also need to learn about medication regimens, which can be complex.

Several organizations, including The National Alliance for Caregiving and the Family Caregiver Alliance, provide assistance and care specifically to caregivers. These caregiver support groups offer:

  • education seminars

  • enrichment resources

  • connections to other individuals in similar situations

2. Prepare

Parkinson’s disease begins very slowly. It typically starts with a small tremor in one hand or difficulty walking or moving. Because of this, the role of caregiving is often thrust on a person with very little warning or a chance for preparation.

But once the diagnosis is made, you will lessen future stress by preparing now for the road ahead. Much of the work can wait, but you will want to start thinking now about the basics, such as:

  • Who will do food shopping and prepare meals?

  • How will medications be stored and administered?

  • What will have to change in the home setup to keep things safe and easy?

Of course, everything doesn’t have to change at once. And your loved one can probably share in a lot of it in the beginning. Talk with your doctors and other medical professionals about when and how much to restructure your lives.

As your loved one’s Parkinson’s progresses, their mental abilities will likely diminish. They will be less able to make decisions and plan.

At that point, prioritizing planning ahead will help both of you. Using an app may be helpful to make daily schedules as well as reminders for appointments, visitors, and special occasions.

3. Be involved

When a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, treatment for the disease should begin almost immediately. This is a time of major change not only for the person with Parkinson’s but also for you, the caregiver.

Doctors strongly encourage caregivers to attend doctors’ appointments. Your input may help your doctor understand:

  • how the disease is progressing

  • how the treatments are working

  • what side effects are occurring

As Parkinson’s disease progresses, dementia may make the patient’s memory worse. By going to the appointment, you can help remind your loved one of what the doctor said or instructed. Your role during this time is especially important to the treatment plan.

4. Establish a team

Many family members, friends, and neighbors will be happy to help if you need to run errands or just take a break. Keep a handy list of people you can call on occasionally when you need help.

Next, designate which people are the best to call on for specific situations. Some people may be more helpful with certain tasks, like grocery shopping, mailing packages, or picking up children from school.

5. Develop a support group

Caring for a loved one can be deeply satisfying. It’s a chance for your family to draw together as you face the challenges of Parkinson’s disease head-on.

However, providing emotional and physical care for someone with an illness can become stressful and, at times, overwhelming. Balancing your personal life with caregiving can be difficult. Many caregivers will face periods of feeling guilty, angry, and abandoned.

Of course, you don’t have to experience this alone. Support from other family members or professionals can help:

  • relieve stress

  • reevaluate approaches to treatment

  • offer new perspective on the caregiving relationship

Ask your doctor or your local hospital’s health outreach office for contact information for a Parkinson’s disease caregiving group. The person you’re caring for will likely also benefit from being part of a support group.

Support groups allow for open communication with other people facing the same struggles. These groups also provide an opportunity to share suggestions, ideas, and tips among the group members.


TRANSFORM: Health Equity

71% of people agree that underrepresented communities in the US face greater hardships in accessing healthcare. Learn how they’ve been affected, and how you can help, today.



6. Seek professional assistance

Especially in the latter stages of Parkinson’s disease, caring for your loved one may become more difficult. When this happens, you may need to seek professional care from a care facility or organization.

Certain symptoms and side effects of Parkinson’s disease may be best treated with professional assistance or home health nurses, or in a nursing home environment. These symptoms and side effects may include:

  • difficulty walking or balancing

  • dementia

  • hallucinations

  • severe depression


7. Hire outside help if you need it

At some point, you may feel that both you and your support network are stretched thin. You’re tired, and you don’t feel comfortable asking friends and family to pick up the slack.

But the yard really needs upkeep. And the house isn’t as clean as it should be. And suddenly, it seems, you’re totally out of food, as well as the energy to go grocery shopping.

Hiring a gardener, a house cleaner, or a grocery delivery service can help if this is an option for you. Your physical well-being will thank you for it.


8. Build a good relationship

Caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s can place a great deal of stress on your relationship. A person you love is changing both physically and mentally, and both of you are needing to adapt.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation recommends keeping communication as open as possible and being flexible with your changing roles. Be aware that some changes, such as new apathy or irritability, is not directed personally at you.

If both you and your loved one are willing, consider consulting a therapist together. You can work through any of the anger, denial, or upset you are feeling, and find ways to keep your relationship healthy and loving.


9. Manage your stress

As caregiver, you are going to feel stress. You may feel fear, anger, helplessness, and more as you meet new challenges every day.

It’s important for you to know what triggers your stress and develop practices to manage your emotions and release them effectively. Journal writing, going for a walk, or calling a friend can all help.

Other coping skills might include:

  • Do something you enjoy. Tend the garden, talk to a neighbor, or read a book. Take at least a few minutes every day to enjoy yourself.

  • Try deep breathing. Even spending 1 minute taking 10 or so deep breaths can give your mind a rest and your energy a boost.

  • Get a massage. Getting a massage can release stress and give you the much-needed sense of being cared for.

  • Try a TV show. It’s OK. Be a couch potato for a half-hour or so. Watch your favorite TV show. It may help distract you from difficulties.

  • Exercise. This is one of the best stress-busters there is. Make time for it and find one you enjoy.


10. Be realistic

As a Parkinson’s caregiver, it is sometimes hard to remain rooted in the here and now.

In one moment, you might harbor hope that your loved one will somehow miraculously return to normal and be themselves again. In the next moment, you might think differently.

These are the times to take a few deep breaths and focus on how things truly are in this moment. Ungrounded fears and hopes can distract you from carrying on with life as it is.

If you need it, professional help can teach you tools and tips for how to do this. Mindfulness training, talk therapy, and meditation are all avenues you might explore.


11. Pay attention

The Parkinson’s Foundation points out that part of caring for your own mental and emotional well-being comes from noticing and understanding the changes both you and your loved one are experiencing.

The physical abilities of your loved one will change over time — and sometimes very suddenly. It is up to you to notice the change since they may not. By paying attention to these changes and managing them, you can make the road ahead easier for both of you.

You also have to keep a close eye on your own changes. ResearchTrusted Source shows that Parkinson’s caregivers frequently experience depression and anxiety, and their quality of sleep often diminishes.


12. Care for the caregiver

Whether you’re a spouse, parent, child, or friend, your role as a caregiver is to be on call 24/7. You’ll likely feel as if your entire world revolves around your loved one, while your personal life takes a backseat.

ResearchTrusted Source shows that caregiver burden is high among Parkinson’s caregivers, who likely face emotional, social, physical, and financial challenges as a result.

As the demands of caring for a loved one increase, many caregivers neglect their own health. It’s important to be proactive and take care of yourself. Keep current with your own medical appointments and healthcare needs.

Other things you can do to stay in shape include:

  • eat a balanced diet

  • exercise regularly

  • get proper sleep

  • schedule social activities for yourself

  • get temporary respite care when you need it



Caregiving for someone you love who has Parkinson’s is a major undertaking that can bring changes and challenges to every aspect of your life.

You will likely face emotional and physical hurdles, but also joy and the pleasure of helping someone you love. A brief prescription for succeeding as a caregiver includes:

  • educating yourself

  • asking for help when you need it

  • taking care of yourself

Don’t be shy about asking your medical providers, caregiving organizations, friends, and family for help. You need to do everything you can not only to help your loved one, but to also keep yourself healthy and positive as well. (credits to Healthline)