2.15 The impact of Parkinson’s on a family

Exercise 2.3

You have considered the impact of Parkinson’s on Andrew and Ruth's life. In Section 1, we also considered the emotional, social and psychological impact of Parkinson’s on Daxa [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . We will now consider how you might feel if you were affected by Parkinson’s.

Look at the list of everyday activities below. Many of these are activities that make our lives rich and interesting, and give us things to talk about and look forward to.

WashTalkGo to the toilet
Walk Have sexEat
DressClean your teethCook 
Climb the stairsPlay sport/exerciseSocialise
Household choresWriteWork
HobbiesGardening Get out of bed
Get out of a chairAnswer the phoneDance
Turn over in bedShop

The extent to which people with Parkinson’s are able to carry out these activities will vary. But people in the complex stage of Parkinson’s will probably be struggling with the really basic activities, such as brushing their teeth or washing themselves. This is why you will be providing vital support at this time in their lives.

Keep the previous case studies in mind when you look at the next exercise.

Use the reflection log to answer the following questions. How might you feel if you:

  1. Were unable to drive anymore?
  2. Were unable to take part in a much-loved hobby, like gardening or knitting?
  3. Could no longer go to the pub or into town for a coffee?
  4. Lived with Parkinson’s, and these were the consequences?

It is important to realise what people with Parkinson’s in the complex stages of the condition are going through and how their symptoms may affect them. They are not being difficult or stubborn. A person’s Parkinson’s symptoms can fluctuate. This means that what they are capable of can also change from day to day, or even hour to hour. Consider how understanding this may influence your practice.

2.14 What is the impact of Parkinson’s on people’s daily life?

2.16 Parkinson’s: a personal account