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  1. #1
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default my mom has Parkinson's

    my mom's health really started going downhill late last year - a host of health issues plus pretty severe anxiety. last time i visited (March) my mom was having anxiety attacks regularly, moving very slowly and having anxiety over her movements being slow etc. on Mother's Day i kept trying to call and text my mom and then found out she was moving to a nursing home (at her own request - is terrified of being alone, falling etc). Eek. Then yesterday my dad told me she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Though he sounded hopeful that at least now hopefully she would respond to medication for it prescribed by the neurologist. According to my dad the anxiety is probably the worst aspect of it - my mom now doesn't want to drive and do most anything and is basically housebound and pretty much consumed by anxiety.

    anyway, any advice from those who have any BTDT is very welcome. not sure what to expect. i am rather surprised as AFAIK we have no family history of Parkinsons. my mom is only 70. my mom's mom recently passed last year at age 96, and my mom's dad passed away at age 82 (heart attack). re: anxiety, my mom has always had pretty high anxiety ever since i was a child, but now it's gotten 10x worse and is probably the most debilitating issue at the moment.

    unfortunately my mom lives in another state requiring a plane ride, and i work full time so it's not like i can visit often. i feel bad as my dad is overwhelmed taking care of my mom - though he has to work during the day and my mom is at home by herself. I am planning to come for a few days during memorial day weekend by myself so i can visit and help my mom in any way. My mom has always been extremely social and have lots of friends she talks to, but she is at the point where many of her friends are also dealing with their own health issues or have passed away,which of course makes it difficult.

    thanks all for reading.

  2. #2
    ArizonaGirl is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Would she consider Depression or Anxiety medication?

    That might help her become calm enough that she can begin to focus on dealing with the Parkinson's diagnosis.
    Lindsey

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  3. #3
    Zansu is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    https://www.pmdalliance.org/ is a great website and organization. She needs a good neurologist, should start going to Parkinson's-focused workouts, and should look into programs offered by universities to work with students on maintaining cognitive skills.

  4. #4
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizonaGirl View Post
    Would she consider Depression or Anxiety medication?

    That might help her become calm enough that she can begin to focus on dealing with the Parkinson's diagnosis.
    sadly, my mom has already been trying various anxiety meds to no avail - she tries them, but gets anxious from the side-effects and often it makes the panic attacks worse. She says they make her feel really weak which makes her anxious. My mom has always been the type of person to avoid medication and be bothered by side effects (and i tend to be like that too). it is hard bc i know anxiety meds typically need weeks to work.


    thankfully my mom doesn't have depression component, was always just anxiety. Only I was lucky enough to inherit tendencies towards both anxiety and depression (lol). I am surprised i'm not going insane right now from the stress of this plus work and other things i'm dealing with my dc.

    i am hoping the Parkinson's medication will help alleviate the symptoms which will in turn help the anxiety. i was just reading online how a large percentage of those with Parkinsons also have anxiety (i did not know this) - i'm guessing bc as the symptoms start and progress it can be rather nerve-racking.

  5. #5
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    Maybe she could go to adult day care or the senior citizen center? She could take Uber or they have transport for people. Anything to get her out of the house if your dad is gone all day.
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  6. #6
    NCGrandma is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    Maybe she could go to adult day care or the senior citizen center? She could take Uber or they have transport for people. Anything to get her out of the house if your dad is gone all day.
    OP mentioned that her mom was moving to a nursing home. Assuming thatís still happening, my suggestion is to find out first what activities the nursing home offers, as well as whether they have any specialized programs for folks with Parkinsonís.


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  7. #7
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default my mom has Parkinson's

    My dad is 73 and has had Parkinsonís for about 5 years. He does OT, PT, and speech therapy. Mum and he attend a support group too. Itís been difficult on mum as she has had to take on responsibility for everything at home, plus helping dad. He needs help with more and more activities. He canít remember anything, she was writing things done, but then he wasnít looking at the list. I got them an alarm clock you can program with voice reminders and itís helped him remember to take his medication when sheís not home. Things like that can help a little when youíre not there. Mum actually needs more support than dad. Itís very difficult in caregivers to see them progressively decline. hugs, itís really difficult


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  8. #8
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    So sorry to hear this. It must be really hard being far away, and wanting to help as much as possible.

    A long time family friend and neighbor of ours has Parkinson's. She's 78 now, and I think she was diagnosed around eight years ago, so just about the time of your mom's diagnosis. She has progressed from a cane to a walker, but overall she's cognitively still quite sharp and is able to get around fairly well. So there is hope that treatment can help!! She is very social, and they can still manage cruise ship vacations. She takes something like 25 pills a day (not all medication- some of those are vitamin/mineral supplements.) She also has regular various therapy appointments. Remembering all those pills, making her meals, and getting her to appointments is a big and often exhausting job for her spouse. But it seems to be significantly slowing down the progress of the disease.

    Is your mom still in the nursing home? If yes, agree with PP that one way to help would be to find out what activities are available as that will get her more socially engaged. Even at small facilities there is usually a daily activities calendar, and larger ones offer several options and even outings.

    Regarding her anxiety, would she consider mindful-based stressed reduction, or some form of therapy that helped her understand what is happening in her brain when she feels anxious? I would imagine part of what is so stressful is feeling to of control. Cognitive-based stress reduction or mindfulness based stressed reduction would give her back some sense of empowerment.

  9. #9
    mom2binsd is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I'm not sure where she is located, but I know quite a few folks who use medical marijuana to help with anxiety etc. You don't necessarily have to smoke it to get the positive effects, and the side effects are pretty much nill.

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