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National Family Caregivers Month

How do you show someone with Parkinson’s disease that you care?

As a retired nurse and a spouse of a person living with Parkinson’s (my husband, Len) I know first-hand how family and friends rally around a loved one with PD. This may mean helping with medical appointments or errands, or as the disease advances, helping with personal care such as dressing or bathing.

I also know how those in our extended networks — family, neighbors, co-workers, health professionals — provide support, making them part of the caregiving network.

During National Family Caregivers Month this November, we recognize those contributions and invite you to share your stories and use our free resources.

Here are a few ideas for you or someone in your care network:

  • Read personal stories and share yours: How do you show you care? Read four real stories, from me and Len; Maria; Jane and Paul; and Greg and family, that show the integral role that family and friends play in PD and the diverse contributions of partners. You’ll hear from them throughout the month of November. Consider sharing your story through our photo campaign.
  • Get practical tips: Take advantage of PDF’s free educational programs, including recorded online seminars designed for care partners, and an upcoming live webinar on Tuesday, November 18, “Parenting and PD,” which will provide tips on talking to children and young adults about the disease.
  • Find support: Contact our HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 or info@pdf.org to get answers to your questions about PD, find caregiver resources and support groups, or to order educational materials.

In my experience, we start out as care partners and gradually become caregivers. The key to success is working together as partners, and accepting support along the way. PDF can help with that journey.


 

Sincerely,
Elaine Casavant, R.N.
Member, PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council