As a carepartner, you can help your loved one take control of their uncontrolled movements. It can sometimes be difficult for them to recognize their symptoms.1 Caring for someone with tardive dyskinesia (TD) can be challenging, and it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed.2 You may find yourself asking the following questions:
I know very little about TD. How can I help?
Take some time to learn about TD
Knowing the signs, symptoms, and causes of TD can help you prepare for conversations with your loved one and their healthcare team.2
I’ve noticed uncontrollable movements affecting my loved one’s everyday routine, is that a sign of TD?
Learn about the impacts of TD, and share what you see
Ask your loved one if they are experiencing any difficulty with everyday activities that could be a result of uncontrollable movements. Some examples include difficulty walking, writing, cutting food, or speaking clearly.1,4
Learn about managing TD and join your loved one at the doctor’s office
At their next doctor’s appointment, you can inform the doctor about what you have seen and find out if there are treatments that may help. Download the TD Doctor Discussion Guide to aid in the conversation.
The first step to caring for someone else is caring for yourself. Here are a few tips that can help with overall wellbeing5-8:
Care for your physical health.
Exercise, eat healthy, and sleep for at least 7 hours a night.
Build and maintain a social support network.
Connecting with others can help you find support, manage stress, and have fun.
Partner with your doctors.
Find doctors that are right for you and schedule regular checkups to help you care for your overall health.
References: 1. Warikoo N, Schwartz T, Citrome L. Tardive dyskinesia. In: Schwartz TL, Megna J, Topel ME, eds. Antipsychotic drugs. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. 2013:235-258. 2. Care for the family caregiver: a place to start. National Alliance for Caregiving website. http://www.caregiving.org/data/Emblem_CfC10_Final2.pdf. Published March, 2010. Accessed July 26, 2019. 3. Waln O, Jankovic J. An Update on Tardive Dyskinesia: From Phenomenology to Treatment. Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov. 2013;3:1-11. 4. Sharing the impact of tardive dyskinesia. NAMI website. http://notalone.nami.org/post/97568253959/sharing-the-impact-of-tardive-dyskinesia. Accessed July 26, 2019. 5. Taking care of you: self-care for family caregivers. Family Caregiver Alliance website. https://www.caregiver.org/taking-care-you-self-care-family-caregivers Published 2012. Accessed July 26, 2019. 6. What you can do to maintain your health. Family Doctor website. https://familydoctor.org/what-you-can-do-to-maintain-your-health/. Accessed July 26, 2019. 7. Are you getting enough sleep? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/features/sleep/index.html. Accessed July 26, 2019. 8. Stress management. Mayo Clinic website. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/social-support/art-20044445. Accessed July 26, 2019.