It is one thing to understand what goes on in the life of a person with essential tremor – it is another story entirely to care for a parent or an elderly family member who happens to have the condition. It can be disheartening from both sides, as a lack of overall understanding can cause frustration for the caregiver, and it can be a source of embarrassment for the sufferer. Essential tremor might have a reputation for being a benign or toothless form of Parkinson’s Disease, but that could not be farther from the truth.
Not only is essential tremor unavoidable, but there is also no cure. The fact that it gets worse with age means that those who are caring for an elderly family member with the condition has their work cut out for them. That said, it does not have to be a miserable process. Here are just a few things to know when caring for a relative with essential tumor.
Make sure that the person you care for has a good amount of sleep
A lot of people tend to underestimate the impact of a good night’s rest, and even those who understand its benefits still stray from the right sleeping schedule from time to time. Unfortunately, refusing to sleep the appropriate hours can cause physical exhaustion, which is a big factor when it comes to essential tremor, as it can cause the symptoms to worsen.
Keep in mind that physical exhaustion is not just about getting tired from physical activity. It is about getting the appropriate amount of sleep. If you can ensure that the person you care for is getting a decent amount of sleep (at least seven hours) every single day, it will lessen the chances of the symptoms worsening.
Combating essential tremor is about the right mindset
One of the disheartening things that can come from essential tremor is the fact that anxiety plays a large part. Those who suffer from anxiety or agitation will have more intense bouts of shaking than those who have a pleasant and relaxed mindset. It can be tricky to achieve, as essential tremor can be a cause of frustration – which in turn makes it worse. It is crucial that you help your parent or family member fight the condition by adopting a relaxed mindset more often than not.
Take your time, and try to have fun
Last but certainly not least, fighting the condition is all about distracting those who suffer from the handicap. Focusing on essential tremor can cause sufferers to become hyper aware of their condition, which can increase the chances of intense bouts of shaking. Try to have fun with them, perhaps watch their favorite show or bond and talk about previous experiences.
While it can be discouraging to care for a parent or family member with the condition, it does not have to be a problem for both sides. You can make things easier by following the tips above, ensuring that the symptoms are at their weakest.