Suzanne has been involved with two people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). First, she was a caregiver for an elderly neighbor with PD some years ago. She enjoyed being able to take care of Shirlee while her daughter worked. It was a learning experience for Suzanne as she had not been exposed to PD before.
Now she helps her mother take care of her father Steve who has PD (he is 86) and more recently dementia. Suzanne worked as a substitute teacher for 5 years until the COVID virus shut down schools. She and her husband have raised 3 children and the last one just finished college. It’s funny how timing is because this is when it seemed her parents really needed her help.
Her parents were on a waitlist for a senior independent community. They anticipated a home to become available in 2021, but it became available in the summer of 2020 in the middle of the COVID pandemic. It was a huge undertaking to help them move from their forever home of 46 years and deal with all of the family treasures. During this time, each of her parents experienced health crises.
Suzanne's father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 14 years ago. He practiced as a dentist for many years in Naperville, Illinois. He retired by age 70. It was soon afterward that he received the PD diagnosis. Her father has experienced minimal physical issues until more recently along with dementia of the last few years. Her father was rather independent until 2020.
Suzanne counts the many blessings during the past year to spend a lot of time with her parents. Suzanne learned that each case of Parkinson’s disease is like a snowflake and unique to each person. She hopes to bring encouragement to others through her writing about her family’s experience with PD and dementia and to recognize each person is different like a snowflake and deserves to be recognized.
Click here to read all of Suzanne's articles on ParkinsonsDisease.net.