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Old 01-20-2008, 01:57 PM   #1
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Parkinsons elderly

My 78 year old mother has been diagnoised about 4 months ago with PD. She will only eat a little for us and now around 92 lbs. We have her on appetite medication but not helping much. She also is now loosing control of her bowels not daily but often. We have her on the alz med and the pd meds. Her voice is 90% of the time raspy sounding but each visit to the Dr he says her oxygen levels ar ok for now. She cannot do much of anything on her own. Does this sound like the final stages?? We really do not know what to expect?? How fast does this disease move at the end???

 
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

The rate for the progression of parkinson's disease is different for each person. My Mom has had parkinson's disease for a little over 10 years now. I am pretty sure that she is in the final stages of the disease.She started out having the tremors in her right arm and hand. That was about it for a long time, up until the last couple of years. She started to really slow down. A few years ago, she started to walk with the assistance of a cane, and a couple of years ago, with the assistance of a 3 wheel walker. 6 months ago, she had fallen in her home. It was found that she had a tia stroke, which they call a mini stroke. And after that,she moved in with my husband and I. Quickly after that, she required 24 hour care. I now have to bathe her,brush her teeth, help feed her when she needs help,do mostly everything for her. She can no longer stand or get up by herself,and is in a wheel chair full time, and spends most of the day in bed. She has no appetite,either. She has gone down from 112 lb. to 95 lb. She also has had a problem with choking. 2 days ago, an ambulance took her to the hospital because she was choking on a piece of meat, and it had to be removed from her esophagus. She is now on a soft diet and is still choking, even on water. I called her doctor,and he is putting her on a thickening agent to be put in her water to make it easier to go down. She now also is experiencing morning dementia, which is new for her, and just started that about 2 months ago.She no longer can write or sign any thing. Her speech is impaired,too and has a difficult time with word retrieval.And another thing, she is always cold, no matter what the temperature is! I know that is common for parkinsons patients to experience. She has been put on appetite boosters, but they don't seem to help. And, she also takes a mild antidepressnt to help with her feelings of depression. She has a terrible time with her balance, and has fallen a few times trying to get up, or just sitting on the side of the bed. Good luck to you, and hope everything goes well for you and your Mom. I know it can be a difficult thing to deal with,for both of you.

 
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:57 PM   #3
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Thanks for the reply to the post. I will be praying for you and your mom. It sounds like we are also going into the final stages so much of what you said sounds too familier. I did not think of her being cold as one of them. We got her a warming blanket for Christmas that she adores. We are taking her this week to a specialist at one of the top 8 research hospitals on this in the country. This is so horible I still fell numb from it all. We got her in the hospital this past October and found out the then it was PD. It is really sad my 80 year old dad is holding down the fort with help during the day. Thanks again for your info and I will keep you in our prayers. Keep me posted.

 
Old 02-24-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

About the choking, my Mom also is in the last stages of PD and to help not choke, which causes them to aspirate and get food in their lungs, remind your Mom to put her chin down to her chest when she swallows.
God bless, Rosemary

 
Old 02-25-2008, 10:09 PM   #5
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Thank you for the tip to keep her from choking!I will remember that when I feed her next time. Are any of you a ful time caregiver for your parent? It is so hard to watch the changes they go through. It has been happening so fast over the last year. Mom needs to be physically lifted from the chair to the toilet,and likewise from the bed to the chair. It is not safe for her to attempt it on her own,although she forgets and tries from time to time. I have a herniated disc in my back, and it can provide a challenge at times to try and lift her into the chair.I have been having so much trouble getting her to eat. Today, she sat at the table picking at her food, almost for an hour and a half.Normally, after a while I just start feeding her. Today I had to help her and not get to close, I'v got the flu with a temp. At dinner time,she didn't want to eat said she ate lunch to late, and I told her no she didn't, it just seems that way because it took so long to get her food in her. She gives me such a hard time at meal time, she doesn't want this and she doesn't want that.She has an extremely demanding and difficult personality at times. I love her dearly but feel I am at my wits end. She got me up in the night last night twice to go potty, and tonight she wanted to stay up and watch a movie which is unusual for her.Normally I don't mind putting her to bed whenever, but of course today I felt like you know what. So that doesn't help. I am so sorry that I carried on like this,but it felt good to get it out,though! Believe me, it can be so difficult caring for a loved one with end stage parkinsons, but it can also be so rewarding at times, and at others I feel like I want to cry.

 
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

I am 51 yrs. old and my 72 yr. old mother has been diagnoised w/Parkinsons, my dear husband takes care of her during the day cause I work and when I come home we take care of her together, plus I have to teenager kids, so with all of us she is being well taken care of. She barely has a tremor, but she can't keep her balance, she tends to fall backwards, she has fallen on her butt 2 times now, which has made some fractures in her back, oh yeah, she has osteoporosis, is recovering from spinal stenosis surgery in Dec of 2007. I give her showers, take her to the bathroom, basically do everything for her, she does get OT and physical therapy come to our house every other day, it is so hard to deal with this, I am the only daughter and it all falls on me. She tends to get me up 2-3 times a nite to go potty, I feel like I have a newborn again. Oh I live in Idaho, and she has a home in Ca. So I had to fly out and drive her to Idaho, so that we could care for her, meanwhile my brothers call and say thanks. I love her so much but at times she really tries my patience. I just don't know what to do to make her keep busy during the day. She won't do her exercises unless she has the physical therapist there to make her do them, she is in big time denial, wants to be home in CA. But no one is willing to care for her there and of course Medicare won't pay to have someone there 24/7. Ughhhhhhhhh...... Anyone out there with suggestions?

 
Old 02-26-2008, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Quote:
Originally Posted by cstohler View Post
I am 51 yrs. old and my 72 yr. old mother has been diagnoised w/Parkinsons, my dear husband takes care of her during the day cause I work and when I come home we take care of her together, plus I have to teenager kids, so with all of us she is being well taken care of. She barely has a tremor, but she can't keep her balance, she tends to fall backwards, she has fallen on her butt 2 times now, which has made some fractures in her back, oh yeah, she has osteoporosis, is recovering from spinal stenosis surgery in Dec of 2007. I give her showers, take her to the bathroom, basically do everything for her, she does get OT and physical therapy come to our house every other day, it is so hard to deal with this, I am the only daughter and it all falls on me. She tends to get me up 2-3 times a nite to go potty, I feel like I have a newborn again. Oh I live in Idaho, and she has a home in Ca. So I had to fly out and drive her to Idaho, so that we could care for her, meanwhile my brothers call and say thanks. I love her so much but at times she really tries my patience. I just don't know what to do to make her keep busy during the day. She won't do her exercises unless she has the physical therapist there to make her do them, she is in big time denial, wants to be home in CA. But no one is willing to care for her there and of course Medicare won't pay to have someone there 24/7. Ughhhhhhhhh...... Anyone out there with suggestions?
That's a toughie! Sounds like we are in the same boat. Except my mom is older,87, and I am a 52 year old only child. That's wonderful that your husband takes care of her like that, and your chidren as well. Mom never wanted to keep up on her excercises either, only did them when the therapist was there also. It is so hard to know what to have them do during the day. My mom doesn't want to do anything. I have suggested word puzzles and I have heard of a game called Brain Age to help with memory and helps "excercise" their brain. It is played on one of those gaming systems,just can't remember which one. We have a senior center in town, but couldn't get her interested in that either. she doesn't get out much anymore, especially during the winter. Just getting her ready for a doctor's visit wears her out.Unfortunately when they come to this stage, being in their own home alone is not an option. Mom is living with us, and I think she has adapted in time. She had asked the doctor if he thought it was a good idea for her to go home and find someone from an agency to come in and live with her and take care of her 24/7. He told her he didn't think it was a good idea, for one thing it would be to costly. Medicare doesn't pick up any of this kind of care,either.I think you are doing everything that you can for your mother. Can your mom get out at all, or is she home bound? My mom has pretty much given up on going out. She used to enjoy when I would take her out for lunch, but doesn't want to even do that anymore. I think the fact that it is to difficult for her to eat any more is the biggest reason she doesn't like to go. She is very self concious of the fact she can't feed herself anymore like she used to, and feels she is messy. So sad. I know it can be trying at times taking care of a parent with such disabilities in your home, but I am sure that you feel better knowing the care she is receiving and knowing at all times what is going on. I know the time is coming near that my mom is going to require nursing home care, she knows it,too. She brought it up to me today.But at least we all know we are doing the very best we can for our parent.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 04:58 AM   #8
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Mom is in a care facility, but I have been through this disease twice now, my Mother in Law and now Mom. You can use a gait belt when getting her up and down to prevent losing your grasp on her. You can give her protein drinks, those that are in the form of a shake, so that she can eat. She will begin to choke in the last stages and her food will have to be pureed and her liquids thickened so that she won't aspirate, (swallowed food go into her lungs which will cause pneumonia). I hope this helps you. You are doing a wonderful job, one that is often thankless at times, but be assured that every minute of every day that you are there, you are a hero. God bless, Rosemary

 
Old 02-28-2008, 07:22 AM   #9
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Talking Re: Parkinsons elderly

Thanks for the encouragement Rhonda, I really appreciate it. I have no one to talk to that understands what we are going through right now. I do try and take my mom out, but I know she really doesn't want to. She has too much pride, hates for people to see her like this. My son hooked up the WII today so after school he is going to teach her how to play it. While sitting in her chair she can bowl, play tennis and box with this game so in a way it is therapy. This weekend I want to take her to get a pedicure and manicure. I hope it doesn't rain. Anyway thanks again, and I hope you don't mind if I email you once and a while. Thank so much...

 
Old 02-28-2008, 10:59 PM   #10
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Hi! You are welcome for the encouragement! We all need some once in awhile! It can get very crazy at times, and it is nice knowing we are not alone in what we are feeling and going through. I wish my Mom could learn to play games like that. That could be fun. Take care,Rhoda55.

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Old 02-29-2008, 12:50 PM   #11
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Does anyone know if there is a certain order of PD symptoms that can tell you when it is getting worse?

 
Old 02-29-2008, 01:44 PM   #12
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

As far as from our experience, it started with the tremors, mom's was in her right hand. No facial tremors, just in her arm and hand. That went on for years. It was annoying to her, but could still feed herself. She was fine with her balance.The doctor would test her balance by walking up behind her talking all the while, and then would give her a gentle shove to test her reflexes,obviously ready to catch her should she lose her balance. But she never did until the last year. Their balance becomes greatly affected, leaning forward so much. At least in Mom's case. She now has no sense of balance. I will take her in her wheel chair to the toilet (the toilet seat with safety rails) and she can't even figure out how to grab the rails and switch hands to turn her self to get her butt on the toilet, so I basicly pick her up out of the chair and turn her to get her butt on the toilet. It is so sad. She can't help it, she feels so stupid and useless. I usually just laugh and tell her not to worry about it. I thank God I weigh 155, and she only weighs 95 pounds! I would say, I noticed a downward spiral after the balance problem started. Then other issues seemed to follow.

 
Old 03-01-2008, 06:22 AM   #13
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

Quote:
Originally Posted by cstohler View Post
Does anyone know if there is a certain order of PD symptoms that can tell you when it is getting worse?
I see several in my Mother and what my Mother in Law had. They both had only rigidity, no tremors. My Mother in law had Lewey Body dementia, my Mom doesn't. She is quite alert most of the time, though she's had some instances of hallucinations which could be caused by the Sinemet, so she is not taking that presently. The different symptoms I have noticed in both cases are: writing becomes smaller and the writing goes uphill, when walking with a walker, they leaned to the right, thus go to the right, feet seem frozen to the floor, (in this case, tell them to march and that can usually get them going), head held down, back aches due to muscle tightness, (you can massage their muscles to help them get some relief), voice volume is lowered, (you can ask them to speak like they are shouting and use very short sentences in order to understand them), choking, (tell them to hold their chin to their chest so the food doesn't go into their lungs. This is called aspirating and can cause pneumonia). My Mom is at this stage now, totally wheelchair bound now, has lost her walking ability for a month. She isn't on pureed foods yet, but I can see it coming. Hope this helps and God bless, Rosemary

 
Old 03-01-2008, 08:03 AM   #14
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

I am new to this message board and have found very useful information here. My father is 75 and has had Parkinson's disease for about 12 years. His symptoms started with a shuffle in his gait and diminished writing ability. He is now what I believe very close to the end stage of the disease and was recently admitted to the hospital after a fall in his house. Right now he is in a nursing rehab facility. The same thing happened last year, by the way. My mother who is 74 and a very small woman has been doing a wonderful job of taking care of him at home, but it has taken quite a toll on her and her health. They can not afford a nurse to come into their home yet the make just above the income guideline to qualify for help. I am the only sibling living close to them so I go over and help as much as I can. I work different shifts and I have two children in college. My father is at the stage where he is falling quite often - mostly because he tries to get out of a chair when my mother leaves a room. He is very stubborn and as a result is his own worst enemy. I was wondering if anyone has dealt with the eyes freezing? It can happen at any time while seated or while trying to stand up. They started Botox treatments around his eyes and I am wondering if anyone is going through these treatments? It seems like his legs have gotten weaker since he had these treatments or it could just be a coincidence.

 
Old 03-01-2008, 08:03 AM   #15
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Re: Parkinsons elderly

I am learning so much from you all's post. We are new to this our diagnois was in Oct 2007. We took her to a specialist yesterday at UAB in Bham and I was so impressed. We had to bring her up 300 miles but it was so worth it. This doctor said she was way under medicated with her Parkinson meds. He is increaseing that to 4 pills a day verses 1 1/2 a day. Also, said she needs to take her antidrepessant that she has not been taking. Has any one heard of leaning to the right. She leans to to the right really bad but the doctor said they usually lean forward. She is so stiff hopefully this will help.

 
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