Once you have received a positive diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease, the stress and worry sets in. You may be one of only 60,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with the condition this year, but you will still feel alone and maybe a bit helpless.
How can you recover from the shock and take a proactive stance against Parkinson’s disease? It starts by forming a management plan to help you tackle each task systematically and efficiently. Here’s where you should start on your journey towards regaining power over Parkinson’s disease and your life.
Build a Team of Helpful Medical Professionals
Make sure you are seeing a doctor who you trust. Don’t depend on a medical professional who you aren’t completely comfortable sharing details with. You need to be able to open up to your doctor about what you’re going through and how the condition is affecting your daily life. You need to be able to ask questions about your care, your prognosis and your treatment.
Adjust Your Daily Living Habits
First, remodel or rearrange your home if need be to accommodate your changing physical abilities. Make sure to eliminate fall risks by securing rugs. Install safety handles in the bathroom to increase accessibility. Keep kitchen utensils and food preparation essentials in easy reach.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may have to consider limiting or completely giving up driving. Parkinson’s disease can interfere with safe motor vehicle operation, so investigate grocery delivery services or local, low-cost transportation to help you keep up with your schedule.
Find a Support Group to Help You Thrive
As with any long-term disease, you will need to develop a positive perspective in order to help you adjust and enjoy your life. You are not alone – approximately one million Americans also suffer from the disease. Ask your doctor for recommendations on support groups that provide emotional counseling and group bonding so you feel at home in a community of people with similar experiences.
Address Health Insurance Concerns
Don’t wait until you need additional care to think about adjusting your healthcare plan. While Medicare will take care of expenses after your deductible and Part D can help with prescription costs, the basic plans do not cover extended stays in assisted living facilities. Medicare will pay for up to 100 days only. Also, Parkinson’s disease medication costs can add up, as can the co-pays and deductibles for therapy. If you’re worried you won’t be able to afford the out-of-pocket costs into the future, you have options.
You can supplement your health insurance with Medigap or private health insurance plans to make sure your future is secure. The best course of action is to contact a health insurance professional, such as the caring specialists at My Senior Health Plan, and explain your situation. You can get immediate answers for your specific circumstances and design a plan to fit your budget.