According to the Parkinson's Foundation, nearly 10 million people live with Parkinson's disease worldwide, and 60,000 people are diagnosed every year.
Next Avenue’s recent article entitled “How to Advocate for Your Hospitalized Loved One with Parkinson's Disease” says most patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease will eventually require full-time care as their disease progresses, and they become less independent. As a result, adult children of PD patients are most commonly in caretaking roles, managing medications, helping with feeding, dressing, bathing and acting as medical advocates.
Likewise, research has shown that people with Parkinson's are hospitalized at a much higher rate than older adults without PD due to complications from the disease. They’re also at an increased risk for hospital-related complications such as pneumonia, skin breakdown and confusion — all of which can be preventable.
Caregivers have an essential role in advocating for a loved one with Parkinson's disease. Here are some ways to help ensure that they receive the best possible care in the hospital, while also promoting a speedy recovery.
As a caregiver, you can support your loved one by making sure they get the sleep they need in the hospital. Ask the nurses to minimize unnecessary distractions during the night, keep the room dark and the television off and talk quietly around the patient's room.
Parkinson's patients are at risk for more prolonged hospitalizations from hospital-related complications. However, a lot of these difficulties are preventable through basic hygiene. As a caregiver, you can help the nursing staff care for your loved one:
As a caretaker, your education and experience on Parkinson's can be powerful, so speak up and express your needs as you advocate for your loved one.
Reference: Next Avenue (Dec. 22, 2023) “How to Advocate for Your Hospitalized Loved One with Parkinson's Disease”
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