Follow
Share

My uncle has Parkinsons and becomes catatonic overnight. His body is completely rigid during the night and into the morning. The assisted living facility is unable to feed him the medication but can only hand it to him for self intake. We have had his doctors try a slow release med overnight however he is at the end stages of PD and there is not much of an effect to make him more mobile at waking.


Has anyone any suggestion as to solving the issue of having him take his own meds? Any contraption so he can take it himself? We are looking to hire a personal aide aside from the assisted living aides to administer the meds. Also considering moving him out into an accessible apartment unit where he would live with a live-in caregiver or three.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Hello Kayunis,
Consider having your uncle's doctor prescribe occupational therapy (OT). OT has special tests and knowledge they can do in order to determine if a patient can take medications effectively. They will evaluate not only his motor skills but cognitive ability as well. There are automatic pills dispensers that can be used if an outside person is not available to provide the pills or if it is too costly. There are residents in assisted living facilities who use these dispensers in order to keep the costs down. It sound like your uncle could use physical therapy and perhaps speech therapy as well. These disciplines regularly work with people with Parkinson's Disease and can offer a lot of incredible insight, treatments and recommendations so your uncle remains as independent as possible.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you for all your amazing answers! Everything taken note of. We have decided to arrange for a private person to come during the mornings to give him the morning dose. Difficult to find anyone who specializes in PD in the Buffalo NY area surprisingly. Well one who can work as a private aid.

My uncle is able in the morning to move his hand to his mouth in the morning due to stiffness. He is able to and willing to swallow. I am going to check on the PEG tube mentioned thank you Veronica91.

Crushing his pill into water and having him draw it through a straw is a super idea. Will try that.

No wiggle room on the rules as per the AL. Oddly we don't find out these rules until we run into problems. Unfortunately who has time to review the state regulation book when you just need to get your loved one into a place of care.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As far as I know you can arrange for a nurse to administer his meds for an additional fee.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Something else that has occurred to me - is he being treated by someone who specializes in Parkinson's? Aside from his inability to self medicate the rigidity has to be extremely painful and distressing, I would continue to push his doctors to find a solution. Would having someone come in to help him reposition through the night be helpful?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

While an aide such as a CNA can't administer medications I'm pretty sure the nurse on staff should be able to do so, although there is usually an extra fee for this. That is, after all, that is the whole point in assisted living - Assistance!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Is the staff at AL not allowed to give the medication or your Uncle refuses or can't he swallow?
He clearly needs a higher level of care than he is currently getting and either what you are proposing or a good nursing home could be the answer.
Depending on how close to death he is and your views on the subject of artificial feeding he could have an NG tube, which i don't recommend for more than a few days or a more permanent PEG tube. Either was not only food but medications can be administered through that. Pills with have to be in liquid form or finely crushed. AL probably won't take that on. An NG tube can be placed by a nurse but PEG tube requires a small operation which can be done with sedation. Long acting medications which must not be crushed can be given at a time of day when he is capable of co-operating. Most meds can also be given rectally in an emergency although this is not the preferred method. They must never be crushed as too large a dose is immediately released. If pills were crushed and mixed with water and drawn up in a large syringe would he be able to swallow small amounts at a time. Another option is put the crushed meds in a small glass with something pleasant like orange juice and have him draw it up with a straw again if he is able. the staff would need to assist but would not be actually  "administering" the drugs. I am sure there is a solution out there but i know of no self administering contraptions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ugh! This sounds like a prime example of well-intentioned regulation - unqualified personnel may not assist residents with taking medication - crashing into reality and wrecking all common sense in the process. How frustrating for you! And, by the bye, how demeaning for the aides, who would no doubt be perfectly capable of learning to administer prescribed medications just as ordinary people do for themselves all day long...

It seems absurd. But I assume you've looked carefully at the facility's terms and conditions and there's no wiggle room on this?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.