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celentanoad 09-24-2012 08:48 AM

Helping someone with Parkinson's
I am a college student, and I'm in a program to work with older people. The woman I am working with has Parkinson's, and I don't know too much about the disease. She is confined to a motorized scooter, and has a hard time using her hands. She also has a hard time speaking.
She has some activities that her doctor has her do, like word recall stuff. I was wondering if there are some other things that we could do, that would not be too strenuous for her. Since she has a hard time speaking, would it be hard for her to hold a conversation? The speech thing is throwing me off, like I'm not sure if its actually hard for her to speak, or if its hard for her to think of the things she wants to say. I don't want to be sitting in silence the whole time, or just be talking away at her, but I also don't want to push her if its too much.
Any suggestions or ideas would be helpful, thanks

anayxx 10-03-2012 04:25 PM

Re: Helping someone with Parkinson's
It's great that you're volunteering/working/helping someone going thru this disease. My dad has parkinson's with dementia, which is what it sounds like this lady is going through. He can no longer speak..only single words now & then and this takes a while to get out and he usually looses his train of thought before he can. The parkinson's will limit/eliminate the use of muscles, including those used to speak. The dementia part will eliminate the ability to process thoughts or form them, invariably before they can remember what they were trying to say.My dad is in the late stages I think..he cannot walk/talk/bearly get food to his mouth by himself. I don't know myself what to do when visiting him..but I think he likes the company. As for your lady, maybe just telling her stories of what you did or like to do instead of getting her to tell you something. Yes/no or single word answer questiions are best if dementia has set in and you want to get her to respond. As for being too much - I think she would be able to let know if she is getting frustrated or not.
I relate more to Alzheimers/dementia message board now....this is where I find the most information relating to where my dad is now.
Not sure how this helps you...but if she has the beginnings of dementia(there are a lot of different labels for this) you will benfit from that message board.

cejayb 10-03-2012 08:55 PM

Re: Helping someone with Parkinson's
A very hard question as there is such a variation with Parkinsons. As she is in a motorised wheelchair maybe you could go walking with her just to enjoy various things that you do and see together. You do not have to speak to enjoy views/history/animals etc Stop for a tea break if possible. Music always seems to be a pleasure.

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