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How an Aging Life Care Manager can help when your family member is living with Parkinson’s

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Families call us initially and will ask “my father/mother/aunt/uncle” has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, they are living in a community and receive care, but we are hoping to find other resources to support them.  Can you describe what you do?

We initially ask what their family member with Parkinson’s is experiencing, as everyone’s experience is different from another.  Sometimes they will say that their loved one is experiencing gait issues, others share concerns about swallowing or speech, or sometimes their stories are about how their loved one is challenged by thinking and processing ideas.

No matter what is currently happening I assure families that at each point of the disease process we can provide assistance.  If the person is just diagnosed finding clinics near to them that have teams of professionals that can educate and provide resources in the community is helpful.

As a person’s disease progresses, ensuring that they are meeting with specialists that can share the most up to date care, treatment, and research opportunities available near to where they live.   Aging Life Care Managers can help individuals and families educate care staff as to the disease process and how to know when a person is “on” and “off” and how they can help them when they are “off”.  An Aging Life Care Managers can provide referrals to other clinics and professionals that can help with physical exercise, strengthening and balance, occupational therapist to help with tools and techniques around challenges that a person with Parkinson’s can face and speech therapist to help with communication and swallowing strategies.

The Aging Life Care Manager can help the care staff understand the reasons medications are ordered and the importance of both timing of those medications and diet in relationship to the medications.   The Aging Life Care Manager knows who owns and operates the facilities and is skilled at developing teams of care providers to ensure that all helpful approaches are incorporated into their plan of care.

Finding an Aging Life Care Manager in your area can be found here on our association website:  Aging Life Care Association.

 

Joyce Sjoberg, RN, BSN, MA, CMC

Categories: Aging Life Care Management