To pamper or not to pamper…

I often have a dilemma that I’m sure most caregivers face at times; especially those with loved ones in the later stages of Parkinson’s – how much help to give to the Parkinsonian. I am a big believer in a certain degree of independence and people doing...

Attitude is everything

Being a caregiver is occasionally rewarding and makes me feel good because I love my husband, but it often feels like a stressful problem that I just can’t seem to solve. I can’t figure out why I feel down in the dumps or anxious or unmotivated or angry or...

How Do I do This?

When we get married as young adults, we have wonderful, limitless expectations for our life ahead with the person that we love. We have dreams, and hopes, none of which include our loved one being diagnosed with a progressive neurological disease. At first we are able...

Are you still trying to develop a positive attitude?

Last month we began a discussion about how important having a positive attitude is to being a good caregiver – and feeling good about yourself. Remember, life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. That may be a hard concept to...

I hope you haven’t been freaked out!

I have been thinking about the recent columns I have written and realized that they are reflective of the difficult times Stan and I are facing now that the disease has progressed so much – approaching 21 years. I am imagining that caregivers who are new,...

The Stress of Caregiving

Taking care of a loved one is one of the most stressful experiences we may ever have. There are many factors that can be involved in causing stress in a caregiver. Feelings such as anxiety, isolation, frustration, and guilt, fears for the future, and an unexpected and...

Hospitalization and Parkinson’s disease

Stan had back surgery – a ‘laminectomy’ to relieve the extreme pain he had been having in his hip and leg. The pain had prevented him from walking at all for several months, so we decided it was time to do something about it. Our neurologist and internist...

Friendships can become invaluable

I always have been a bit of a loner who had a few good friends and lots of acquaintances. I have enjoyed having friends and definitely have valued them. I also probably took them for granted. I guess that’s what you do when you are young. Well, as you can...

Are You Ever Afraid?

I know fear must be a common component of caregiving. There are so many unknowns that we face in dealing with a chronic disease. We don’t know what the future holds for our loved one and ourselves, nor do we know how things will be in one year, five years, or at...

Preventing Caregiver Burnout

In a recent column, I discussed the stages of caregiver burnout to help us recognize if we experience these feelings. Caregiver burnout is very common, and we need to pay attention to where we are so we can try to prevent the next more serious stage of caregiver...