Parkinson's Awareness Month - Meet Matthew
Meet Matthew B.!
Join us as we recognize April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, typically developed at age 60 or older. Meet Matthew, a caregiver who started caring for his parents at age 22.
Read more below about Matthew’s caregiving journey:
“My caregiving duties started at 22 and I've had to take care of 3 family members over these last 7 years. Currently my mother who has a rare condition called Primary progressive aphasia and has completely lost the ability to speak. 22 in an instant my dad was gone, mentally he'd had no idea where he was. We found out after he died that he had dementia and parkinsons but in the moment we couldn't understand how it hit that quick. And because of his size 5'11 220 no facility could keep him because he was too violent. So I spent years having to physically fight, restrain anything I had to get my family through the day safely usually regardless of what it meant to me. I being 6'3 160 and avid gym goer was the only family member physically able to withstand this. The worst was when I was also caring for my uncle his brother at the same time. My uncle unable to cope with his own copious medical issues and inability to accept what his brother was going through. Would against doctors orders stop taking his klonopin and I would have to control and calm a man going through withdrawals while also dealing with my father. Sadly if give the chance I would do it all again as those were the last few years I had with my father. But I'll never now what my last conversation was with either of my parents and after all the sacrifices that hurts. Separately this summer I traveled internationally for the first time for my cousin's wedding only to rush home to have a chance to say goodbye to my last father figure, my childhood best friends father. But with my luck he passed right as I landed in LA and wasn't able to say goodbye to him either. And then 1 month later my dog died, 2021 was rough for me.”
Carewell is proud to recognize Matthew for his dedication to providing care for his parents, especially at such an early age. Matthew’s love and patience is inspirational, and the perfect example of what it means to be a caregiver.
If you are caring for a loved one with Parkinson’s, please view our collection of items curated for their health and comfort.
Jessie Ary is Carewell's Content Coordinator. When Jessie isn't writing for Carewell, she spends her time attempting to climb rocks and traveling throughout the country with her cat, Carrot.