Even though today’s blog is a wish list, my goal is always to support and encourage you who care for someone with Parkinson’s Disease or any other illness or condition.
The inspiration for this blog comes from a recent issue of “The Fox Focus – Living with Parkinson’s”, the Fall/Winter 2019 edition, published by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The article proposed that caring for someone with Parkinson’s Disease requires a team. A village. It is best accomplished by a group.
But it wasn’t my first time reading something similar. Many books, articles, and even blogs tout the theory that having a TEAM of professionals to care for someone is the best way to care for the whole person. And the theory sounds reasonable, plausible, and even desirable.
What if a neurologist set up their office to put this theory into practice? What would it look like?
The article in the MJFF magazine suggests these members of a TEAM:
- Movement Disorder Specialist who is an expert on Parkinsons’
- Physical Therapist who can evaluate mobility and recommend exercises or activities
- Occupational Therapist who can suggest strategies to help with everyday tasks
- Speech Therapist who can recommend swallow tests or additional speech therapy
- Dietician who can give advice to help manage constipation or diarrhea
- Counselor/Psychologist who can care for the mental health of both caregiver and patient
- Social worker who is in tune with community services to help when needed
When I read this list, my first thought was “Wouldn’t it be great to have all these professionals onsite in one office complex? We could move from office to office and get all of our questions answered at one location!” Ideally, the patient could request which staff members to visit, or they could be referred by a triage professional or other staff member. (Sometimes we don’t know exactly what we need!)
Having these professionals all under the same roof would make life much easier for patient and caregiver logistically. For those of us with limited mobility, we would only have to get the wheelchair or walker out of the car once! And then for additional needs in any of these fields, a TEAM member could recommend making an appointment with an outside specialist.
I believe this approach in caring for Parkinson’s patients would give more support to both patient and caregiver and make living with this disease more manageable. However, I am not blind to the difficulties with this approach. An office complex such as I am recommending would be a logistical nightmare. It may be costly to have that many different types of professionals in one location. And the volume of patients would be considerably less than currently seen by most neurologists.
Perhaps it would not be feasible from an economic standpoint. But if the goal is how best to care for a patient and their caregiver, it is worth considering.
If I cannot have my wish and have a dream TEAM in one location to care for my husband, it doesn’t mean we cannot have a dream TEAM in many locations.
And indeed, I am very thankful that God has surrounded us with a TEAM of people and organizations to support us right now. They are family, friends, church, Parkinson’s support group, and medical professionals. We are blessed to have them all, doing their part to help on this journey.
Who is on your dream TEAM? Join me in thanking them for all they do to help.
You are also part of MY dream team as you encourage me by
reading and commenting. Thank you for your support.