Hi I’m Mandy, Im after some help in supporting my brother in law who has been diagnosed with Parkinsons for the past 5 years. He doesn’t live near us at all and its a good couple of hours away. He lives on his own and doesnt appear to have any support at all. We are new to this and just wondered what we can do to help out. Thank you

Hi @gorgeous123
The problem really depends on the patient because everyone has very different symptoms and you brother in law could well be happy to manage on his own for now however I would be concerned about his motivation whatever level his Parkinson’s is at because self motivation to exercise is difficult, much easier to grab a pot noodle and watch TV all day.
So even if he for now does not require assistance with meds , hygiene and general housekeeping he most likely will require to be encouraged to take up some kind of social exercise which is vitally important to keep himself independent longer.

Hello gorgeous 123
I was very interested to read your post and it was lovely to read that you want to support your brother-in-law who has Parkinsons. The immediate thought I had however is what led you to think he needs support five years on from his diagnosis. That’s not a criticism maybe he does but I think you need to be clear on what has prompted this. Many people with Parkinson’s manage very well for an extended period of time and I include myself in that. I am almost at the 13rh anniversary of my own diagnosis and live alone quite happily. A few years ago I arranged and pay for two hours a week from a care agency, not particularly because I needed help, but rather it was a cost effective way for me to run my home. When I left work I gave up driving and the convenience it gives. I use that two hours to get to and from appointments, or to go out and about to places that are not easy to get to without a car. Over the years she does bits and pieces for me like finish my ironing or mop the bathroom floor {not my favourite jobs} but it is always led by me and is very flexible. The point is that it was my choice and if I didn’t have her coming to me for 2 hours a week, I could manage and do when she is on holiday. I am not unusual. Often others can assume someone with Parkinson’s would of course have a carer or some form of support just because of the diagnosis, others will think that because we are slow or can look awkward for example. Sometimes if you don’t see someone for a while they can look like they’ve gone downhill and maybe they have, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t manage. You don’t say a great deal about your brother-in-law’s circumstances which is fine but as someone who has no connection with you other than to read your post, the question that came straight into my head is what makes you think he needs support.
For the purposes of giving a proper reply let’s assume he does or potentially does. I am just going to give you some things you may want to do or follow up depending on how serious you view his needs.
Talk to him to get an accurate picture of how he is managing, how he spends his time, is he worried about anything. How you open these kinds of conversations depends on what sort of person he is can you be direct as in I’m worried about you or do you need to take a more scenic or slow route.
Maybe he would benefit from joining the local Parkinson’s support group (the helpline should be able to find his local group details}
Does he have a hobby and is he still doing this if not what’s stopping him.
If it is more serious than that he would be entitled to an assessment by the Adult Care Services at his local council of what support he would benefit from.
- Maybe arrange regular contact by whatever means suits just to keep an eye on
Gorgeous 123 ir is difficult to give much concrete advice with little information and I think it is commendable you want to support your brother-in-law but please make sure, assuming he is cognitively able, that it is support he wants and not what you think he needs because he lives alone. If not now, there will certainly come a time when your support will be invaluable as his condition progresses. If you are concerned about something specific please post again when we may be able to help you with that particular issue.
Best wishes.