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By Maggie On 2009.08.12 20:31
Okay, we had our first event. My FIL who is alone in another state, woke up in the middle of the night and saw my MIL (who passed away recently) in bed. (He is 80 and was diagnosed about two years ago.) He said he tried to wake her and couldn't. He said he started doing CPR and called 911. He really called 911. They showed up, and once he realized she wasn't there, they stayed with him awhile. They sent out a local team the next day to visit with him about local support services that are available. He already has been to one PD group meeting, and seemed to find it useful, but I don't think he has gone back. It sounds like both the EMT's and the local team did a good job. It is a community with a lot of retirees. We are moving our travel plans up a couple of weeks to early September. I was almost surprised that he told us because my in-laws used to be so private about personal issues. My husband mainly listened and acknowleged that it must have been very disconcerting.

I just wish there was an answer to how long he can manage to stay independent. All we can do right now is call 4-5 times a week. We are his only family other than a sister in another state who has her own huge extended family and a busy life. He has one neighbor who has been a good friend, but he has a wife with serious MS.

We are going to encourage him to schedule an appointment with his neuro guy. I hope we may be able to be there for the appointment. I would like to get documents required so we can talk to his doctors.

I know most of you are dealing with a lot worse. Feel free to give advice to this relative newbie.

By susger8 On 2009.08.13 08:14
People with PD often have extremely vivid dreams that seem very real even after they wake up. Sounds as if this might have happened here.

It's hard to determine when a person needs more help. I hope you can get a better idea during your visit.

I always tell people to look carefully at the checkbook. The first sign for me that my dad needed more help was that bills were going unpaid, and his mail was all over the house.

By WitsEnd On 2009.08.13 09:32
I went through something similar with dad. He thought somebody was breaking into his truck. He didn't call 911--I did because it was clear he was hallucinating.

While this may have been a PD vivid dream, the problem is he couldn't distinquish between a dream and reality to the point that he called 911 and didn't realize he was alone after waking up.

This episode sounds more like sundowning. Sundowning generally starts at night. The episodes get progressively worse by happening more frequently and earlier in the day as the disease progresses.

Some PD drugs can help this, but aren't guaranteed to totally eliminate it. Their effectiveness varies.

Unfortunately when the PWP gets to the stage where there is sundowning there is no way to keep them independent. They aren't safe.

You can see if the drugs will help, but you probably need to look at having someone stay with him at night. You need to be thinking about longer term plans though because eventually if this does continue he is going to need someone to be with him 24/7.

God bless and hang in there.


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