Experience of Parkinsons in a 77 year old ?

We have suspected that my Dad has had PD for the past couple of years/mainly due to a restful trremor. However since New Years Day his health seems to have deteriorated at an alarming rate. He has had lots of stomach problems, then fainted through low blood pressure & ended up in hospital, developed a urine infection then reacted to the antibiotics and ended up in hospital again. He has lost lots of weight, is confused, has suddenly lost the ability to drive, he drools, shuffles when walking, struggles with swallowing and seems to have developed a stoop. He has 'restless leg syndrome' which keeps him up at night, so is sleeping for most of the day. 7 months ago he was walking at least 3 miles a day and was an active pensioner - now he isn't well enough to leave the house some days. We have managed to contact our local Parkinsons nurse and he was prescribed Sinemet - but that just seems to make him even more tired and confused. We are shocked at his decline, he has very little muscle strength left and needs assistance with the smallest task or decision. We are wondering whether to take him back off his drugs - at the moment his consultant can't see him for 6 weeks and the Parkinsons nurse is on holiday. Has anyone had to deal with this ? We just want to help him keep his dignity, but he seems to be more dependant each day.

14 Replies

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  • I'm so sorry that your Dad is having such a difficult time. I suggest you find a new doctor or a Movement Disorder Specialist. I'll be praying for you. Blessings.

  • hi

    i had problems getting a diagnossi aged 64 and am now good tha ti have a sor t of parkimsons( PSP] I am now 66)

    the sinemet did nto work for me (aother way to diagnose a parkinsons type of illllness)

    but your dad does need to see a movement disorders consultant

    can u afford to pay ?

    lol JIll

  • Hello

    My partner also fainted twice, once so he had hardly any pulse. I understand this is because if the person is particularly energetic, the messages from the brain to the heart muscles to pump a bit more don't get though. it's very frightening, but probably a symptom of the PD rather than another illness.

    Re restless legs - you could try supplementing with magnesium or magnesium plus calcium - a dose before bedtime stopped the restless legs for my partner. You can get liquid Mg supplements, which you can add to yoghurt say, as capsules can be hard to swallow. Also go for lots of food rich in Mg - people with PD are often low in Mg,

    I hope this helps.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your dad and hope you can find someone who can help him. I had my husband at four different doctors before taking him to a Movement Specialist and this doctor seems to be making some progress with him. He did up his Sinemet which has helped his walking but does make him tired and he also has some hallucinations but don't know if they are from the medicine. We see dr. again in two weeks so hoping they can continue to help. I completely agree with everyone else's comments about seeing a Movement Specialist and keep checking out doctors until you can find the right one. Good luck to you and your family.

  • If your husband is having hallucinations it is possible that he has Lewy Body disease, which resembles PD and has many of its symptoms. This was my partner's diagnosis - he was prescribed Aricept, but to be honest we have found homoepathic remedies considerably more helpful. Don't give up!

  • What homeopathic things have you tried? My husband has been on Aricept, Exelon and Seraquel with nothing helping. He has been diagnosed by three different doctors with Lewey Body, Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia and Vascular Dementia so don't really know what he has. I have tried Qunol but he had a reaction to that so had to stop.

  • I do sympathise - my partner was also diagnosed with progressive aphasia along with Lewy Body disease.

    We have used about 20 different remedies in all - one set for the underlying condition and another for acute phases of confusion and distress. As symptoms have changed - in in many cases disappeared altogether - we have moved onto another remedy.

    I strongly advise you to find a good homeopath - every person comes with their own set of genes, life experience and past illness, so everyone's ideal remedy package will be slightly different. I think it would be wrong of me to recommend remedies but to get an idea of what's out there just look on the web.

    Homeopathy remedies are chosen to a large extent on the basis of specific symptoms, and eliciting information from someone who struggles to find words is challenging - but it can be done. Even with a good homeopath it's a long journey - but we have found it worth it.

  • my husband is the same - deteriorating at quite a rapid pace - and I don't know what to do about it either. He is 79 and the doctor says that there is nothing else we can do. I just wish that there was something I could do. I have tried so many different supplements etc but nothing seems to work. He too has started sleeping most of the time and can't do the slightest job anymore. I feel that I have lost my husband now. He has dementia too so I fear it is 'the long goodbye'. Joan

  • I'm very sorry to read your posting.

    The other day I put one up about homeopathy, urging people to at least give it a go. My partner was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia (which included parkinsonism)- about a year ago he was in a very bad state - not making sense a lot of the time, and having delusions, Although he is not back to how he was, the delusions have gone completely, and when his homeopathic remedies are working we are having sensible conversations and even laughing together. Good luck.

  • My husband is the same as yours, deteriorating rapidly and not knowing what to do to help him. He will be 70 next month and diagnosed with PD in 2007. Dementia started about a year ago and is progresively worsening. I feel that I have lost my husband also. I just started having a carer come in once a week so I can get my errands done and hoping someone different can get him to exercise and play games to keep his mind sharp. My prayers are with you and your husband!

  • Sorry - I should also have said that sleeping a lot more than usual is very likely to be part of the PD, so just helping the restless legs aspect might not make that much difference. The magnesium might help with any rigidity though.

    Movement specialists sound a god idea - do we have these in the UK?

  • What other meds is he on , Parkinsons doesnt usually progress so quickly . Re restlegs legs --AMITRIPTYLINE in a low dose form , This has been a big help for my husband helps a more relaxed sleep also he is 78 yrs

  • Perhaps a word with his GP could get him an earlier appointment, or even an urgent appointment with a Geriatrician, and a physiotherapist for an assessment.

    If he has not been assessed by social services ask for an urgent one to try to get some extra help in.

    Your dad may also be suffering depression. Another severe problem I have come across with many elderly is constipation can affect the mind and body whoefully.

    I hope and pray you get some help for your dad as quick as possible.

  • Thank you so much for your replies - I will definately go out and buy some Magnesium tomorrow and hope to persuade my Dad to follow a homeopathic route - though to be honest, I don't think he will take them. I will also contact the Parkinsons Nurse again in respect of a Movements Disorders Consultant - I have never heard of that before. It is so sad that some of you are having similar experiences with your loved ones, but hopefully we can draw strength from each other. I also think Lewy Body & Dementia have been more & more relevant these past few months - it seems so sad that the medical profession seem to write so many of these elderly PD sufferers off - just when the families need more support.

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