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I went to visit my parents today and I found myself basically guiding my mother to eat. She just kept freezing every step of the way, and I basically had to give her commands every step of the way for her to finish eating.
"Take the bread" "put it to your mouth" ....now chew.


No matter how many cues I give her...as soon as she is done one task. She just freezes up again.


Its scary. First time I've seen her this slow....I keep waiting for the episode to end....its been nearly half an hour now.

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My mom has Parkinson’s disease.

This isn’t uncommon. The mind wants to move but the body cannot follow.

It is a progression of the disease and indeed is heartbreaking.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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It could be a uti. Easy to get it checked out. It's amazing to me - how quickly my 76 year old husband with Stage 4 Parkinson's can mentally decline when he has a uti. That's pretty much how I know he has a uti - as he does not have any of the normal other symptoms. As soon as a uti is verified and an antibiotic is started, within 24 hours - he is getting back to his normal self.
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Why would freezing mean a uti though ?
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cwillie Jan 26, 2021
Sorry, that probably isn't relevant in your case. I was thinking more of how a sudden change/decline in behaviour or cognition can sometimes point to hidden infections, in women especially that is often a UTI.
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Call the Parkinson's Foundation for advice. Try getting a telemedicine visit with a neurologist. Can you get her to a referral from the doctor for therapy? Be sure to avoid other distractions while eating, no tv or other activities that take attention away from the task. Learn how to perform CPR and Heimlich maneuver. Try some form of cuing the rhythm of the chewing and swallowing motion as is suggested for freezing when walking. Let us know if something works.
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Thanks for all the help so far. I've tried reading up on it, but most of the help I've found only describes how to help when freezing occurs during walking....which is simple enough, rocking, moving side to side, using a timed beat.

But how do I apply that to eating ?I'm just afraid that one day the freezing spell will happen whilst eating and she will choke.....

I almost wish the freezing happened with walking instead.

We already have a cleaner who helps with household chores and helps mobilize my mother, but with these freezing spells, we may need to get a trained nurse as well....sigh.

We don't have a neurologist here. And thanks to COVID-19 we haven't been able to travel to see a neurologist either....with how severe my Mom's Parkinson is.. travelling to see a Neurologist during the pandemic is almost guaranteed to do her in.

Sigh.....
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LexiPexi Feb 3, 2021
Choking will become common. It is a different kind of choking (than regular people).

There was another question on this site about Parkinson's and eating / chewing / swallowing. It had some good suggestions and answers.

Hopefully, it is a uti and she can get back to her normal self soon.
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You need to take her to a neurologist. My aunt had Parkinsons with freezing up. She was placed on a medication and family would take advantage of when meds were at their peak to get her to perform
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Reply to MACinCT
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Amother thought. Parkinson's patients usually have "on" and "off" periods related to the timing of how their medications are being taken and absorbed. Sounds like the meals should be provided during the "on" periods. There may be problems with the absorption of meds that needs to be discussed with the doctor, who hopefully is a Movement Disorder Specialist (neurologist who specializes in Parkinson's).
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This is probably not a UTI, but part of the Parkinson's. Freezing can usually be seen when someone is walking. There are techniques for dealing with freezing such as rocking side to side before starting forward again or cuing to something like a musical beat, or laser light. Parkinson's affects speed and motion in many body systems. Get some help here from doctor and speech therapist ( because they also deal with swallowing) and the Parkinson's Foundation for advice. Maybe have a swallow test done. Aspiration can be a real threat to a Parkie patient.
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First - this needs to be mentioned to her doctor. If this is sudden or new it could mean she has a UTI or it could be she needs her medications tweaked.
I spoon fed my mom for years before she went into the nursing home and usually helped with one meal daily after that, she just lost the initiative to eat.
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