Being diagnosed with a disease such as Parkinson’s is life changing, and it is natural (and helpful) to look to family and friends for support to help you deal with your new situation.
Considering the physical and psychosocial consequences of a chronic disease like Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to understand how social support can help you come to terms with your illness and its effects on everyday life.
Did you know that social support can be protective for health?
It is well established that social and emotional support from others can be beneficial for health: it improves both physical and emotional wellbeing, reduces isolation, and improves coping and quality of life.
Support for people with Parkinson’s can include:
Emotional support, such as showing concern, affection, and encouragement, or as simple as just listening.
Practical support, such as helping with household chores like shopping, cooking and cleaning; assistance with personal tasks such as bathing and going to the toilet; helping with getting to the hospital; being accompanied to appointments.
Informational support, such as gathering and sharing useful information about potential next steps, about the disease and its treatment, and about other sources of assistance. Those offering informational support do so in the form of advice-giving, or in gathering and sharing information that can help you to know of potential next steps. For example, information about disease and treatment provided by the healthcare professionals.
Companionship support, such as giving someone a sense of social belonging, by making sure they are included in social activities.
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