Things you should never do (or say) to someone with Parkinson’s.
If you have ever spent some quality time with a patient of any disease, you will bear me witness that actions and words do matter a lot. Let’s take a case of Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms of this disease include body tremors. Serious body tremors. Now imagine talking to a Parkinson’s patient and say or do some detrimental stuff to them. This would sweep them off their feet and for sure you might even accelerate the disease in them. Healing or enduring a disease takes a lot more than just medication. There needs to be emotional care and support and that’s why there’s a lot of need to watch what you say or do to these patients. Here are things you should never do (or say) to someone with Parkinson’s.
Your hands are very shaky and you need a stabilizing spoon
At a first glance, this statement looks very caring. But thinking of it, it sounds like you’ve been holding it for a while waiting to spit it out. Instead of telling them this, keep the statement to yourself. No matter how severe the tremors are, it would be much better if you went and bought the stabilizing spoon and brought it to him or her. Then you could say something like, “I thought this blog comfortfox would help you with your eating”. This will sound much better than telling them to their face that they have tremors.
I don’t know what I’d do if I had parkinsonism, I’d just give up living. You’re so strong
This is a very negative comment despite the positive ending. The statement sounds like you’re complementing the patient but he or she might take it very negatively. This makes it sound like parkinsonism is so bad and it’s like a death sentence. It sends a message of uselessness and futility and you might end up even killing them more and causing them more pain than the disease does.
You don’t look so bad. Looks like your Parkinson’s is improving.
Are you even listening to yourself? Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease and every patient knows that it will worsen with the days, and it has no known cure. The patient already knows that there is no way he or she is getting out of that and the statement might just kill them more. Remember that just because a patient is having a smooth time with little symptoms, it doesn’t mean that the parkinsonism is getting better.
Don’t relate his or her situation with your grandfathers or grandmothers.
Parkinson’s isn’t a disease for the elderly only. It may as well affect young people. Don’t tell them how your relative ended up with the disease and whether they got healed or not. Our bodies are very different and we cannot react the same way. Just work towards giving them some hope that will help them cope with the disease.
You don’t need to go to school to learn how to handle PD patients. The trick is simple, thinking before speaking for words to hurt and what’s spoken cannot be undone. Learn to be courteous.