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First Steps after Parkinson’s Diagnosis


Parkinson's Foundation
The diagnosis
If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may have oddly experienced an unexpected feeling of relief.

While relief is the last thing one would think a Parkinson’s diagnosis would garner, the relief can be attributed to the long and arduous process of actually reaching a correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, no tests diagnose Parkinson’s disease, as the symptoms vary by individual and often mimic other diseases. This is why Parkinson’s disease is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases and has a prolonged accurate diagnosis. 

Six tips to live by
After his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis at age 29, famous actor Michael J. Fox, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation to find a cure.  For the newly diagnosed, the foundation recommends following these six tips right away:

See a specialist

Learn about Parkinson’s 

Exercise regularly

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Build a support network

Participate in research 

Acceptance.
“My first thought was, ‘What the hell happened to me? What am I going to do?’ That took time to work through, but I found out that if I could accept what my situation was, and be honest about it, I could move forward. And my happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance.” — Michael J. Fox, diagnosed in 1991 at age 29

Make a plan
When faced with Parkinson’s disease, the first step is to make a plan. The six tips help define a plan and a starting point to guide you through the new frontier ahead.

Regardless of when you or a loved one were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a support network is needed to help you every step of the way—from diagnosis through the new challenges as the disease progresses. In addition, a support network beyond your spouse or partner is critical and can add more energy to your life. Outside of your spouse or partner, you’ll interact with people who can share welcomed new and different conversations and perhaps help to renew interest in old hobbies. It’s comforting to know that you and your partner are not alone in this. 

The Parkinson’s Foundation indicates that without a support system, they suggest that it’s like navigating through the woods without a compass. Right now, you may think, “Why would I need a support system? I’m doing okay without it.” While that is a great point, we also know that Parkinson’s disease is progressive and you never know when you’ll need help. By creating a support team early on, you develop lasting friendships and build upon existing ones. Lay the foundation now, while you can, because you are making your own community to help you today, next month, or year. The important consideration is creating the group, educating members about Parkinson’s disease and telling them what you need and when.

Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, meaning that it changes over time. This can make it hard for your support group to define roles, as their involvement will change along the way. Their responsibilities may include helping with daily activities, doctor appointments and financial decisions. As the disease progresses, you may need to find outside disability care from an agency such as SYNERGY HomeCare.

SYNERGY HomeCare plays an important supporting role in care for those living with Parkinson’s disease, ALS, arthritis, MS, Muscular Dystrophy, dystonia and other movement disorders or injuries that cause one to need a few hours of care each day or even around the clock care.

When you can’t create your own support group, that’s when SYNERGY HomeCare can help. Living alone, having family miles away, and being unable to drive—each of these scenarios can make day-to-day living with a disability difficult.   

Two Parkinson’s disease organizations mentioned above, the best time to plan is now. SYNERGY HomeCare has a no-obligation home assessment where they will visit your home, discuss your needs and make recommendations for your care plan. They understand that your care needs can change and can adapt.  They’ll communicate with your friends and family, prepare meals, do laundry and keep the house tidy. Their professional caregivers will be by your side, helping you wholeheartedly.

SYNERGY HomeCare would be honored to be your in-home support group to help you live your best life. Before Parkinson’s progresses, it’s important to have your care plan and routine established to avoid any mobility issues that often accompany the disease. SYNERGY HomeCare will be by your side, wholeheartedly, for a few hours a day or around the clock—whatever you need.
Call us | 877-432-2692

  877-432-2692

Resources:

Parkinson’s Foundation
MichaelJFox.org
Michael J Fox Foundation
Wiki