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Coping and Caring for Yourself

Support and Resources for Caregivers

As a caregiver it is sometimes difficult to let others help out or to take time out for yourself too.  However, the benefits of such choices often bring valuable results for both yourself and the person with Parkinson's.  Benefits can include revitalized energy, renewed interest in creative endeavors, new subjects to talk about and the realization that you and the person you are caring for are not alone.

Support Groups

For many people, support groups play an important role in the emotional well-being of both caregivers and people with Parkinson’s. Some groups are targeted towards caregivers, while others can provide a place to talk to people with similar experiences.

They can provide a caring environment for asking questions about Parkinson's, for sharing stories and advice, and for creating friendships with people who are in similar situations. 

PDF keeps a listing of nationwide Parkinson's support groups. To find one in your area, please call or email PDF at (800) 457-6676 or info@pdf.org. In addition to in-person support groups, many people also find online groups and listservs helpful.

Time to Yourself

For those who have family in the area, friends and family are often willing to help, but are unaware of your needs. With their help you can find time to yourself.   Consider making a list of things that others can do that may help you.  These may include things such as asking a friend or family member to stay for two to three hours with the person with Parkinson's while you go to the a store, or a movie, etc.  Perhaps request a family member to assist with tasks such as housecleaning or food preparation to give you free time or time away.   It may be difficult to get used to asking for help or even hiring help.  But remember that since caregiving is a role you are in and undoubtedly wish to do well, you will need to care for yourself in order to offer the most you can.

Related Resources from the PD Resource List

Eldercare Locator Service
Category: General Information for Care Partners, Family and Friends
Resource Type: Websites
Publisher: Area Agencies on Aging
Toll Free: (800) 677-1116
Associated URL: www.eldercare.gov
Language: English
This government-supported program can refer and link seniors to supportive community resources including caregiver programs, home health services, nutrition services, personal care services, emergency response systems for the home-bound, telephone reassurance programs and socialization events.

The Fearless Caregiver: How to Get the Best Care for Your Loved One and Still Have a Life of Your Own
Category: General Information for Care Partners, Family and Friends
Resource Type: Books
Author: Gary Barg
Publisher: Capital Books, Inc
Cost: $
Language: English
This book, written by the editor of Today's Caregiver Magazine, provides information and suggestions for successful care planning and coping. Practical tips to develop long-term plans and maximize available services and resources are offered. 264 pages.

View all Resources for Care Partners, Family and Friends of People Living with Parkinson's