My father has Parkinson’s Disease and the symptoms affect him daily in a variety of obvious, subtle, and nuanced ways. He is aware of the impact of many of these symptoms, but not others.
Family members and caregivers like me are affected differently, but in ways of similar breadth and depth. Feelings of anxiety or isolation, among others, are common for caregivers struggling to maintain an identity that acknowledges PD’s impact but isn’t completely consumed by it. The good news is that there are many coping tools available to adults. Support groups, respite care programs, awareness organizations and many other options offer adult patients, caregivers, and family members multiple opportunities to influence the best possible quality of life for everyone affected.
Children, conversely, have fewer obvious coping options and the impact of a PD diagnosis on their quality of life can often be difficult at best to even spot. Open discussion with a trusted loved one can make a huge difference in minimizing the impact of a diagnosis on a child. An interactive and open discussion with a trusted loved one is even better. The book Shaky Hands – A Kid’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease by Dr. Soania Mathur offers a compassionate, thoughtful, and interactive tool through which to explore PD with any child – particularly those affected by a diagnosis. All proceeds from the book benefit research towards a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.