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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Final stages of Parkinson`s
My father in law, age 91. He has been told he is at the final stage of parkinsons. Now that he is at this stage, He has to be fed. cannot walk. Does not talk unless he is asked a question. What can the family do to make his life a little better. He complains his feet are buring, then says they are cold. I would appreciate an answer. Thank you.
Advanced Parkinson's disease is difficult, not only for the patient but also for family and loved ones. At such an advanced age, there may be several reasons why your family member has decreased mobility and difficulty with activities of routine living.
In general, it is important for persons even with advanced PD to stay as active and interactive as possible. Keeping the patient stimulated, both physically with activities (even if they are small) and mentally (music, reading to them, puzzles, etc.) is extremely important. Making certain evaluation for the proper doses of medication to treat the disease and other symptoms, is also always a consideration. Trying to maintain nutrition and hydration in a safe manner can be difficult but a speech/swallowing therapist may offer some advice.
Overall, the more activity and stimulation that is attempted, the less likely the patient will feel isolated and frightened and instead be comforted by having loved ones near and interacting with them.
Karen M Thomas, DO
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University