Caregiver Digest July-August 2020

Contributed by Kathy Mason

Coffee Break: The emotional Roller coaster of Caregiving

According to AARP, six in 10 caregivers provide care for adults with a long term physical condition such as PD. In many respects though, Parkinson’s can be a “Do It Yourself” disease as no two patients present the same. However, the caregiver journey is remarkably similar.

In this excellent video from a recent Parkinson’s Foundation Caregiver Summit, Jan Seale, a Texas Poet Laureate, presents an insightful and very personal look at her experience caring for her husband. Her advice includes viewing caregiving as a marathon and not a sprint, and that caregivers’ spiritual, physical and mental health is a priority which must be recognized.

Her hopeful message is that positive emotions can coexist among all the challenges presented by PD and its’ progression. So please carve out some time for yourself, pour a cup of coffee, click the link and absorb her wisdom.

You deserve it!

Book of the Month

Barbara Sheklin Davis

Advice from a Parkinson's Wife: 20 Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Written from personal experience with valuable life “lessons learned” that apply to caregiving for men and women alike with PD, this author examines topics often not discussed such as the frustration, sadness, fear and resentment both may feel along the way. Neither partner in a relationship can control the trajectory of the disease or how it will progress or manifest. In an easy to read format, the author provides advice from someone who has been there and gives practical suggestions on how to better understand and cope with the everyday challenges PD presents to patients and their caregivers, while preserving their relationship and maintaining a positive perspective.

advice for pd

Caregiver TIPS and Tools

Handling Anger and Frustration

PD patients and caregivers may be feeling more anxious and frustrated than usual as the pandemic continues. How caregivers cope with these common emotions is as individual as PD itself.

Vibrating Alarm Watch

Multi dose daily medications can be challenging to administer and remember. “Now that my husband uses a vibrating alarm wristwatch, he doesn’t miss his medications and I no longer need to remind him.” — From a grateful fellow caregiver

Pedal Exerciser

Studies show exercise may be as effective as medication for the PD patient. For those who need help with dose to dose coverage, peddling an under desk elliptical while sitting down may help. “My husband uses this every day when his medication waxes and wanes. It’s especially useful when hot weather makes walking outdoors not possible.” — From another grateful fellow caregiver.

Parkinson’s Helpline


Parkinson's Foundation Helpline

Need immediate support? Staffed by nurses, social workers and therapists, the free Helplinenis available to answer caregiver questions and concerns. Just call 1-800-473-4636.

PD helpline Play Video

About the Author


Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following…

Read all articles by Heather Simpson, OTR/L