Conversations to Have with Your Parent After a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

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Elderly Care in Sterling VA

Throughout the United States there are approximately one million people who are living with Parkinson’s disease. Each year there will be around 60,000 more diagnoses. If your aging parent has recently received such a diagnosis, it is vital for you as their family caregiver to prepare yourself and your parent for the future of their care as they progress through this condition. One of the most important things that you can do at this point is to start having conversations with your parent that cover issues that will impact their care moving forward.

Some of the important conversations that you should have with your aging parent after a Parkinson’s diagnosis include:

• Let them know you are there for them. One of the most impactful conversations that you can have with your elderly parent is just letting them know that you are there for them and that you will be throughout their progression. It is easy for your parent to feel alone and overwhelmed by this new chapter in their life. Letting them know that you are there for them and that you want to do what is best for them is an important part of giving them confidence and peace of mind moving forward.

• Planning for care. The symptoms and challenges at the very beginning of the disease are extremely subtle, but that does not mean that they do not need to be thinking about the future of their care. Symptoms can change and increase very quickly and you want to know that your parent and you are prepared for it. Discuss starting elder care for them so that they can get into a beneficial care arrangement that will help them through their future symptoms effectively and in the way that is right for them.

• Potential future symptoms. It is important that your aging parent fully understands the potential future symptoms that they could face as they progress through the stages of the disease. This is vital to them being prepared for what they might go through and to working with you to come up with the course of care and management that will give them the highest quality of life possible as they age in place.

• End-of-life issues. Simply because your elderly parent is at the beginning of their journey does not mean that they should not consider the future. In fact, now is the ideal time for them to think about what will come. This is the stage at which their mind is at its clearest, which means that they will be able to evaluate their needs, consider their thoughts and beliefs, and start talking to you about their future and their wishes. This conversation should also include issues such as how they feel about resuscitation, hospice care, and life support, and their final arrangements. Consider legal planning issues so that they can establish power of attorney, a medical directive, a will, and other issues that will help you to fulfill their needs properly in the future.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Sterling, VA please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.