How do you look after yourself if you look after someone with Parkinson’s?

How do you look after yourself if you look after someone with Parkinson’s? What keeps you going? What makes life easier? Here, you share your tips for other family, friends and carers of people with Parkinson's. 

  • “Remember personalities may change and you might not recognise new behaviour. The person inside is still the same. My dad is a lot more sensitive and emotional than he ever was. Talking is good, especially about memories, as this helps him feel happy, rather than annoyed at his loss of control.”
  • “Build small pleasures into your routine. I like to read a book in the garden, have coffee with a friend or go for a walk.”
  • “Get to know your doctor’s surgery receptionists and your local pharmacist - invaluable for those new prescriptions or for extra or early repeat prescriptions over holidays.”
  • “Some local authorities give free gym membership to carers as part of a time out scheme – usually a carer’s assessment is done first. Worth asking!”
  • “Having a sense of humour is vital. Instead of getting upset about setbacks, my husband and I try to see the funny side of things and turn mishaps into positives.”
  • “The person you’re caring for can still hear you, even though they might take time to answer you back. They’re just processing. At least that’s what we try to do.”
  • “Plan a treat for yourself, as you have the three pleasures of anticipation, the treat itself and looking back on it!”

  • “Get to know another carer – preferably someone who also looks after someone with Parkinson’s so they understand the issues. You can share advice and four ears are better than two to hear what new treatments are available or what support or events are in the area. Most areas have some sort of carers’ group but there may also be a local Parkinson’s group for carers.”
  • “Don’t exclude friends – they genuinely want to help by doing something such as shopping or lifts to appointments. Some just want to sit and talk over a coffee.”
  • “Accept all available help. I go to our local NeuroTherapy centre for Pilates and carers’ coffee mornings.”
  • “Don’t suffer in silence. Grab your partner, child or friend and demand answers, support and information. No one will help you if you don’t get out there and ask for it. If you are a carer, make sure you get time out for YOU. You deserve it and need it.”
  • “Sometimes it’s hard to be positive but I try and find something funny to laugh at every day.”