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Posted by Ruth on September 04, 2000 at 21:38:56:

In Reply to: Re: Special Chair posted by Carole on August 28, 2000 at 13:29:59:

: : : : My 75 year old husband has been diagnosed with PD this past summer. He has quite
: : : : a bit of pain in his left shoulder and arm but his one worry is not sleeping! From previous
: : : : messages I note that sleeping is one of the symptoms. He now uses a dining room chair
: : : : with arms which helps with getting up. He was always a sedentary person so trying to get
: : : : him moving is very difficult. Also the depression seems to take him over. We are seeing
: : : : a PD specialist next month - what should I ask for and how does one know how long they
: : : : have had PD?

: : : Betty P, Here are a few things I have learned. For sleeping, he might need a milf medication such as Amytryptoline. To makr it easier for him to turn over, satin sheets are a big help. As for the pain in the shoulder, this might be caused by the Parkinson's, because the muscles tend to remain in a state of contractiom. I am having that problem and the drug Clonazepam is begining to work for me. If he is a sedentary peron he might eventally need a walker. The store will submit the bill to medicare for you. You mentioned his difficulty getting out of s chair. he has probably noticed that it is much harder to get up from a soft cushioned chair or sofa. Another item to buy is some handles for the comode They are cheap and easy to insrall. All you have to do is loosen the bolts on the lid and te holes on the arm rest line up with the same holes used for the lid. This is really big help in attempting to get up from a commode. Depression is common in Parkinson's patients and sooner or later we end up taking antideptression medication such as prozac or zoloft. It might be difficult to know when your husband's Pakimson's began. The doctor might be able to estimate this by asking te right questioms. Exercise is very important to be able keep walking and help his body function better It doesn't have to be much. but even a little exercise will make him a heslthier person. Bruce

: : Betty P,

: : Bruce has covered your questions very well,after all he deals with this everyday He is such an asset to this board .I'm a CG so understand your side of this.If you need someone to listen.Email [email protected]

: :
: : Googy

: Betty P.-
: Bruce has done a great job in covering the bases. I'll just add that I bought my mother a lift chair; an electric chair with a button that helps you stand up as well as goes back to a nice reclining, nap position. I have it now and she has a new one to match my dad's. (all reimbursed after the doctor's prescription and bill submitted to medicare). She broke her wrist a few years ago and getting up was impossible with her deteriorated lower vertebrae. I use it when I'm feeling tired or weak (not that ofter) (lazy is more like it!!) I am a young PDer of 47 and have had the disease for 16 years. I have MADE myself go to exercise classes again 15 months after brain surgery and have felt so energized this past week. I am sleeping better, too. So even if he'd rather sit and stew, getting him a walking buddy (such as yourself or a group or a dog) would get him out. We have a nursing home up the street, no sidewalks in our neighborhood, and I see the same residents out every night (except in our heat right now) with their walkers or canes, taking a stroll. Their speed may not be great, but their activity is to be admired!! Good luck!
: Carole

You've gotten great advice and information from both Bruce and Carole. Let me add 2 things.

I have PD and my mother also has PD. She was dx'd a year before I was, so she's had it almost 14 years and is 78. She also has trouble getting out of a chair. We got her a device called "Seat Assist" which is a spring-loaded thing that you place on a chair. When the person sits on it, it lowers down to an almost flat position and looks and feels somewhat like a pillow. When the person starts to raise up, it also pushes up with the spring and raises up, giving the person a "boost." It is set by weight as to how hard it "boosts." We have told her to behave herself or we'd set it for 300 lbs (she weighs about 90) and catapult her across the room! LOL It's fairly small and not too heavy and can be carried from place to place. It does work better in a stuffed type of chair rather than a hardwood chair with no pad.

The other thing is sleeping. I have trouble turning over, and the satin sheets just didn't work. We couldn't keep them on the bed. They slid all over the place and the whole thing had to be redone in the morning, top to bottom. It has been suggested that you could just sew a large satin patch where the PD person sleeps, and it might work, but I haven't tried that. What I did find works is to sleep naked. No PJs or nightgown to get tangled in. Just make sure to keep something close-by in case you have to make an unexpected exit!!

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