Is it for real? She is 76 and has a Parkinson type of disorder. She needs to use a walker to get around. My question revolves round her state of mind. She is depressed, that is a given. She has a home health aide for 12 hours a day. The home health aide "makes" her do for herself, like get up from a chair, go to the bathroom. When there is another party present, ie. myself, her son, a friend, she becomes incapable. She was at our house for a couple of nights and was totally helpless. She fell out of the bed; slid off the couch; was unable to get up from a seated position; couldn't go to the bathroom by, I had to pull her pants down, help her onto/off the bowl, and put her back together. On Thanksgiving, we went to a family friends house, and she had a new audience and became incapable. Now, she can hold a conversation; knows left from right; can get belligerent; she "forgets" how to walk; how to sit down, get up, and other motor skills. She also goes into lala land around the health aide, but when I see her, she seems basically "with it", although she will ask irrelevant questions about something off topic, or something stupid like why are wheels round. That all being said, I can't help but wonder if part of this is an act...I have to be careful, since I grew up with hypochondriacs, I have a hard time sympathizing...that got tapped out a long time ago. I am more than willing to assist her in any way necessary, but need to know that she needs the help in actuality and is not just acting helpless and like a spoiled brat. We wonder about dementia, but she is coherent, IMHO when she wants to be. So I am throwing this out here to get advice and opinions from other caretakers to figure out if I have to be more patient. Thank you for your help! Deb

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Does she have Parkinson ' s or something else? Please find out what she has and read everything you can about it. Given your upbringing around hypochondriacs, I can understand your skepticism, but let's give her the benefit of the doubt.
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With Parkinson's like all brain disorders, symptoms come and go. You can be fine in the morning and incapacitated in the afternoon, only for it to lift later that evening. You have no control over it. Is her medication being given on a regular schedule. It is crucial that the medicine be taken on time evrytime. I have MS, and the same things happen to me. I don't think she is faking.
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