Are there patterns of behavior with Parkinson's? Can we set a plan based on the "normal" progression of it? - AgingCare.com

Are there patterns of behavior with Parkinson's? Can we set a plan based on the "normal" progression of it?

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Can Parkinson's behavior be anticipated as it progresses? If so, what parameters of behavior are the red flags?
What are the "Standard" medications to control/combat Parkinson's?
Does Parkinson's make a patient more susceptible to other conditions?
We want to help grandpa, but he is not very helpful, and if we leave him for just a minute he becomes unruly and tries to get out of his bed or chair causing injury. I have not seen my wife and daughter for a week, because they feel to guilty to leave him. They know they must come back home tomorrow, and yet, they(and I) feel tremendous guilt for not being able to bring him home and care for him. We have neither the finances or ability to do that. My wife is 2X Cancer survivor with RA, and I have degenerative arthritis, so we can not even transfer him from chair to bed.
I need to know everything I can find out about this disease, and how others cope and deal with it so we can be better prepared to help him. I know we are limited on what we can do, but we have to try because we are all he has to rely on. His family will have nothing to do with him because of some family stuff from decades ago, how ridiculous!
Anyone who can help us will be such a blessing not just to us, but to him also. God puts those in our path that we need when we need them, and I am certain there is one or many who will be out there to help our hurting hearts. Blessings & Tender Mercy Through Christ Jesus!

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Many persons with Parkinson's develop dementia as well. That may be what his "unhelpful" behavior is about. He may not be functioning fully rationally at this time, and that aspect may get worse. As much as all of you would like to take care of him, given the circumstances a long term care center is probably the best place for him.

People with Parkinson's have deposits of a protein in their brain, as discovered by Frederick Lewy about a century ago. These "Lewy bodies" cause physical symptoms like tremors and problems swallowing if they are in certain locations, and cause cognitive problems (dementia) if they are in another location in the brain. Wherever the deposits start out, they can increase and be in other locations as well. People who start out with Lewy Body Dementia usually develop Parkinson's-type symptoms, and often people who start out with a Parkinson's diagnosis also develop the dementia symptoms associated with Lewy bodies. This is a complicating factor in trying to care for the person at home.

pstiegman has given some good suggestions for keeping in touch with Grampa and keeping informed about his medical condition as it progresses. In addition, I suggest good old-fashioned snail-mail cards, with personal notes, clippings from magazines, cartoons -- anything he might enjoy.

As for the feelings of guilt, can your religious faith help you deal with that? You did not cause the protein deposits in Gramp's brain. You did not volunteer to have physical limitations yourselves. None of this is your fault. You are doing the best all of you can under very challenging circumstances. Continue to do your best, but try not to beat yourselves up that you can't do the impossible.

Do a little research on both Parkinson's and Parkinson's Disease Dementia on the internet. That will give you some background to help you discuss his case with the doctor.

Best wishes to all of you as your deal with this challenging situation.
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People think of Parkinson's as just a tremor, a little shakiness. However the disease progresses and in the later stages affects the ability to walk or balance. Red flags include the inability to swallow. Complications from other conditions such as dementia/alzheimers create the need for 24/7 care. Even people in perfect health cannot do this at home!! Your devotion to him is commendable, but your wife and daughter need you too. If he is in a nursing home, call the nurses daily for an update. Visit at least once a week, and try to be present when the MD comes to see him. There is no simple roadmap for his condition, take one day at a time.
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