Question: My husband is 79 and I am 64. He has Parkinson's disease. I work full time. My husband complains that he is tired and gets dizzy, and he walks really slowly. When I get home from work I cook dinner, take care of the dog and then do the dishes. He does not work or drive. I am it. He does not want me out of his sight. He is always checking up on me. I go nowhere except to work and the grocery store. Sometimes I snap at him and don't mean to, but I just get tired and would like some 'me' time. How do I help him when he says he is dizzy and how can I understand more?
Dr. Amy: I encourage you to take your husband to the doctor to ask about his dizziness. The doctor is your best resource to have this checked out, and it may be something that can be controlled.
Living with Parkinson’s is a challenge; caring for a loved one with Parkinson's means you are walking the journey with them—and it can be amazingly stressful. As with any disease, the more you know about it, the better prepared you can be to help and provide support. The National Parkinson Foundation is an excellent source of information. In addition to info on the web site, they also have a help line, which you can call at 1 (800) 473-4636. They have developed videos like this one, which speaks to how variable this disease can be.
In addition to knowledge, you also need support. Going it alone will make the journey much more difficult for you both. You need time to yourself and you also need emotional support and friendship. I encourage you to join a support group, and to make arrangements for some relief. If you try to do everything yourself, you risk becoming exhausted, feeling more impatience, and compromising your own health. Your husband might also benefit from joining a support group.
Don’t wait until your situation becomes unbearable. Reach out for help now.
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