Welcome to the first Care Partner Meetup of 2023! During this meetup, we discussed intentions for the new year and the importance of rest and recovery. While we don’t publish a recording of these monthly meetups because of the sensitive nature of the conversation, we do want to share some key takeaways so that even if you can’t join us live, you can still benefit from the expertise of our panelists and community members.
- Connie opened by talking about the difference between intentions and resolutions. While resolutions seem more concrete, they often fall by the wayside. Intentions allow you to set yourself up for success without feeling the pressure resolutions bring. When you wake up in the morning, remind yourself of your intention for the day; “I want to smile more,” “I want to be more patient,” “I want to laugh more.” Try making these intentions yourself and see how they change your outlook.
- Forgive yourself. You are doing the best you can as a care partner. Sometimes, you’ll make mistakes. Sometimes you’ll get angry at your person with Parkinson’s when they ask you to do things they can’t. It’s okay to feel that anger. It’s okay to feel that frustration. Take a breath, take some space, and readdress the situation. But don’t stay angry at yourself for your initial reaction. It’s natural, reasonable, and okay.
- Sustainability is the main reason Connie prefers intentions over resolutions. As care partners, your days often go differently than planned, making it challenging to adhere to a resolution you made to do X every day. Holding intentions regarding eating healthier, having more patience, or practicing forgiveness is more sustainable.
- Avoid the trap of “future tripping.” The future (in your mind) can be scary. As a care partner, you feel fear for your partner and yourself. As hard as it is, try not to spiral into the what if’s of the future. You can plan for the future, like making sure your estate is in order, but fearing the future won’t help you and your person with Parkinson’s live well today. So much of care-partnering is just hoping for a good day. “What if” thinking won’t help you or your person with Parkinson’s. Use your resources and live in the moment as much as possible.
- A great tip we shared this month came from Pat Donahoo. He recommended the Feit Electric LED Built-in Speaker Intellibulbs for your home. Music is a great way to help your person with Parkinson’s move fluidly. If your person with Parkinson’s needs to go to the bathroom at night, they can pair their phone to the light bulb and simultaneously turn on music and light. The bulbs are relatively inexpensive and eco-friendly, and Pat raves about them.
Enjoy this month’s care partner meetup?
Join us next month on Tuesday, February 7, at 12 pm MST. You can register here!
JOIN OUR PELOTON CLUB
Our educational content is made possible because of the monthly donors in our Peloton Club. Want to become a member and help us continue to create the resources people need to live well with Parkinson’s? Learn more and register to become a member here. (You’ll get a cool gift if you do!) It’s as easy as can be to set it and forget it.