A Partner’s Guide to Speeding Up PD Progression

Because it is a progressive disease, Parkinson’s gradually gets worse over time. It is possible to make PD worse in very short order however. Particularly when there is a Partner who is making the Person with Parkinson’s feel worse, without even being aware of it.

Some of the most sure-fire ways to make the disease worse are provided here. These steps are in no particular order because they are quite effective in making an already challenging situation worse no matter regardless of timing:

• Rush the person through daily activities. PD makes people slower but becoming annoyed and pressuring the person to hurry will surely motivate them to pick up the pace.
• Finish the person’s sentences. When the person with PD is at a loss for words or can’t seem to come up with an explanation for their behavior, do it for them. After all, you already know what they are going to tell you.
• Let your frustration turn to blame.
• Ignore them and their needs. What you don’t see, you don’t need to assist with.
• Never take a break from giving care. Isolation is one of the best ways for getting through the job because you don’t want to be seen as complaining.
• Berate the person. Be sure to comment each time the person with PD is slow, shakes, spills, drops or breaks something.
• Do everything for the person with PD. Make it clear through you actions that you believe he or she is incapable of doing even the simplest task.
• Treat the person like a child.
• Fuel their self-pity with your own pity for them.
• Give up hope. As much as humanly possible, give up hope that either of you will ever be able to live a good life
• Make the person with PD the disease itself. PD has no face and it helps to substitute the loved one’s s so you have a place for your anger and frustration.
• Remind the person with PD that you “never signed up for this.”
• Be intolerant of depression and apathy. Respond to depression and despondency with statements like “Just snap out of it. Everyone has their problems.”

It is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to help a loved one with PD. But it can be very helpful to know what NOT to do. It is critical that each of us be aware that our actions, intended or not, can have a negative impact. When we put pressure, stress, anger, and frustration on a person with the disease, we make the PD worse.

Regards,
Dr. Paul

NOTE: Dr. Paul Short is neither an agent nor employee of ADPA or any of its affiliate organizations. The views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Dr. Short and do not represent the opinions or endorsement of APDA. The information contained on this site is for your general information only and is not intended as, or a substitution for, medical advice. You should also be aware that the information on this site may not reflect the most current medical developments, nor is it provided in the course of a physician - patient relationship. You should always consult your physician or other qualified healthcare provider or expert with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a health or medical condition. You should never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this site.

About the Author

Paul Short, PhD

Dr. Paul Short, The Parkinson's Coach, provides Internet-based coaching to individuals and famlies challenged by Parkinson's disease and helps them develop personalized plans for coping with the disease.