Advice for Parkinson’s Care Partners with Connie Carpenter Phinney
Kelsey Phinney talks to Her Mom, Connie Carpenter Phinney, about Being a Parkinson’s Care Partner for Over 18 Years
Every obstacle presents an opportunity.
– Connie Carpenter Phinney
Parkinson’s impacts the whole family, especially those most involved in the day-to-day care of the person living with Parkinson’s. As a care partner, it can be easy to lose sight of your own health and well-being as you care for your loved one. However, taking the time to prioritize your own physical and emotional health will not only ensure that you have the stamina and bandwidth to care for your loved one, but the joy you get from taking care of yourself and minding your own needs will make a big difference in their life as well.
In this episode, Conne Carpenter Phinney shares her journey as a care partner to her husband, Davis Phinney, and the practical strategies she uses on a daily basis to stay healthy, connected and present.
- It can take a year or longer to adjust to a Parkinson’s diagnosis and live with it
- It’s important to teach your person with Parkinson’s to accept help from other people
- Commit to continued dialogue about your experience and frustrations
- Acknowledge that you hate Parkinson’s, too
- Be sure not to confuse hating Parkinson’s with how you feel about the person with Parkinson’s
- Create a safe environment in which to live – move or remodel if you can
- If your person with Parkinson’s has REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, consider getting separate beds
- Accept the roller coaster that is Parkinson’s and that there will be good days and bad days
- When you have bad days, ask yourselves, “How did we get here?” (consider sleep, medication, food, exercise)
- Always go to doctor’s appointments with your person with Parkinson’s. Record the conversation and be sure to go over what the doctor said when you get home
- Take care of your marriage and keep honesty, humor and playfulness a priority
- Avoid the temptation to feel sorry for yourselves
- Every obstacle presents an opportunity
Concepts Mentioned in this Podcast & Further ReadingRewriting the Rulebook for Parkinson’s Care Partners
The Big 16: What to Say (And What Not to Say) to Someone Who Has Parkinson’s
The Parkinson’s Care Partner’s Digital Toolbox
How to Be the Parkinson’s Care Partner Your Partner Needs
How to Stay Healthy and Avoid Burnout as a Parkinson’s Care Partner
Care Partner Videos with Connie Carpenter Phinney
Living Well with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
Parkinson’s Home Safety Checklist
Why Do I Need an Occupational Therapist?
An OT’s Simple Strategies for Living Well with Parkinson’s
Connie Carpenter Phinney is an entrepreneur, author, artist, lifelong athlete, Parkinson’s advocate and Board Chair for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Connie particularly enjoys sharing her experiences via the written word and she is an eloquent and humorous public speaker. She has two adult children, Taylor and Kelsey, with her husband Davis Phinney.
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