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Parkinson's caregiving

Stump, Elizabeth

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000299028.91855.c0
Department: the Waiting Room: Quick Tips

Lonnie Ali, the wife of boxing champ Muhammad Ali, has been her husband's caregiver for the more than 20 years he has had Parkinson's Disease (PD). Together with PD specialist and University of Kansas neurology professor Rajesh Pahwa, M.D., Lonnie launched the Fight for MORE campaign in April. Her caregiving advice:

  • ✓ FIGHT FOR MORE. “My husband and I focus on what he can do, not what he can't do. PD shouldn't stop you and your loved one from pursuing your dreams.”
  • ✓ STAY CONNECTED. “If you don't have family support, stay connected with friends, get involved with your community or in PD activism, or join an online community.”
  • ✓ EDUCATE YOURSELF. “Empower yourself and your family with knowledge about all aspects of the disease and caregiving.”
  • ✓ SEE A PD SPECIALIST REGULARLY. “Before visits, prepare a list of questions about new treatments, diet, and exercise, and discuss any side effects or behavioral changes.”
  • ✓ TAKE CARE OF YOU. “I'm an avid fiction reader and enjoy Pilates. Clear your head and come back with renewed energy.”
  • ✓ TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. “Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are not comfortable with a new doctor, medication, or at-home helper or nurse, speak up.”

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Elizabeth Stump

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