Insights from a PD Caregiver

Quote "There are four types of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those that will need caregivers."

Caregivers Count

Written by Kathleen Mason

Between 1990-2015, those diagnosed with PD grew from 2.6 million to 6.3 million worldwide.  Currently, in the U.S., 34 million care for an adult over 50, more than half with a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s.  You are not alone!

Behind each of these statistics is the journey of the caregiver whose engagement and encouragement helps determine better health outcomes and quality of life for their loved one battling this progressive disease.  Caregivers are essential members of the health care team. 

In this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, the challenges faced by the PD community on a daily basis have increased.  Outreach to patients and caregivers has taken on new urgency to encourage all to stay engaged, focused and connected amidst the uncertainty of the times.

 Here are two excellent online resources to better navigate the PD journey now and in the future, empowering caregivers and patients alike to keep moving forward:

Lonnie Ali interview, philanthropist, caregiver and wife of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, part of the Voices of Parkinson’s webinar series with the recent publication of the book “Ending Parkinson’s Disease.”  Lonnie describes the importance of a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy caregiver during the PD journey in what she describes is a marathon, not a sprint. 

Parkinson TV:  Season 1: Motor Symptoms. Season 2:  Non Motor Symptoms.  Presented by PD doctors affiliated with the Michael J. Fox Foundation with powerful PD patient stories, the episodes provide informative, hopeful information to patients and caregivers: