For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
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Topic Worried about driving Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By izrblue On 2010.10.10 20:26
I'm very new to this site and welcome all opinions. My dear brother (67) has just been "officially" diagnosed with PD. I say "officially" because neither his wife or my niece would ever omit that he had/has a problem. They would just look away and ignore the increasingly obvious tremors in his hand and leg. Because I only see him every 2 or 3 wks, I noticed the rapid decline and bugged them to see a neuro, which they finally did. Right now, he's only being treated for depression (Lexipro) and Valium when needed for anxiety. I hate seeing him like this. When I visit, he just sits and stares at the TV and can't take part in any conversation. I am very concerned that he is still driving. I don't believe he should, but he is not housebound, and my sis-in-law mostly ignores any possibility of a potential problem. He has not fallen yet,but I've noticed that he stumbles alot. Also notice some severe cognitive decline. Sometimes says things that make no sense. Should I just mind my business here? Any opinions would certainly help. Thank you all.

By LOHENGR1N On 2010.10.11 15:32
izrblue, hi and welcome to the forum. The decision to stop driving or take away the car keys is a hard one, We've had a few threads in the past discussing this. The possibility of harming oneself or others or G-d forbid killing someone is very real. Also when someone has a condition like Parkinson's Disease and it isn't reported to their insurance company it provides a loophole for the company to deny coverage of any accident. They can claim if they knew of the condition they would have never insured the person. This could lead up to the family losing everything they've worked for home, savings, everything. I'm not trying to sound like it's all about $$$$ but you posted your sister in law didn't seem concerned about His driving and sometimes jolting one to the fact insurance won't cover hurt to one's self or others can have a more sobering effect than a what if there's an accident? You can go back on the forum to read threads that discuss this issue more in depth. Again welcome. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By jsmitch On 2010.10.11 19:47
See this month's commentary:

By izrblue On 2010.10.14 20:00
Thanks for the information. I was wondering, is it normal to be in such denial? How can my sis-in-law be so blind to his tremoring and lack of congnitive skills. Whenever he calls here, he asks a question and then abruptly hangs up. Is this normal in Parkinson's patients? Mood swings, etc?

By oshroshr On 2010.10.14 21:33
I also experienced this with members of the family and it does make it awkward and difficult.. You are not alone as far as I can see.

By parkinit On 2010.10.14 23:03
izrblue -

Welcome. I will say that in our PD support group, it appeared that those who didn't come to support their spouse were in some sort of denial or they had their own lives and didn't want their spouse's illness disrupting their "routine." The routine is safe and outside of the routine can be chaotic and out of control. So in answer to your question about denial, yes it is common. Every person is different.

I'm surprised that your brother is not on a "Parkinson's Drug" regiment. From your description, he could have middle-stage Parkinson's which indicates a definite need for the drugs.

It is difficult for you to help only seeing your brother once every few weeks. Consequently, your suggestions may not be well-received by other relatives who are dealing with this on a daily basis - even if they are in denial.

Keep posting here and possibly we can offer you support and a place to sound off.

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