A Parkinson's diagnosis is a serious, life-altering event. While it is normal to be nervous about what the future holds, catching the disease early in its progression allows you to have more control over your life as you move through each stage. Now that you have a confirmed medical diagnosis for your symptoms, use these strategies to take action over how you will manage your health condition:
Learn What to Expect in Each Stage
The symptoms of Parkinson's vary significantly among individuals, and it can take some people longer to move through each stage. However, learning about the different stages of the disease helps you know what to expect as you make arrangements for long-term care. For instance, many people need assistance with basic activities of daily living such as preparing meals in the later stages of Parkinson's disease. Understanding that you may need help walking or with getting out of bed allows you to begin talking to your family about your options for care.
Explore Potential Living Arrangements
In the early stages of Parkinson's disease, you may be able to age in place with help from a loved one or professional caregiver. Yet, you will need to explore other potential living arrangements for helping you to stay safe as the disease progresses. For instance, now is the time to tour assisted elderly living homes where you can enjoy many of your favorite activities without having to worry about getting hurt while performing necessary parts of your daily routine such as bathing.
Let Your Family Know Your Preferences
The best time to talk to your loved ones about your long-term care preferences is before you actually need them. This gives you time to address your loved one's concerns, and let them know what makes you happiest. Although you should remain flexible with your plans so that changes can be made if unexpected events occur, outlining your desires for living arrangements and caregivers lets your family know how to support you as the disease advances.
Any new health diagnosis requires making plans for ensuring your wellbeing. However, a Parkinson's diagnosis requires taking a serious look at how you want your care plan to look as the disease progresses. While you might not be able to foretell the future, you can keep a positive perspective on what the upcoming years hold by taking control over how you will live in the later stages of the disease.