For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
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By bkperfecto82 On 2012.02.16 19:13 [Edit]
Hi I am new on this forum and I am hoping to get some advice. My dad has been living with PD for the last 12 years. He is 60. My mother is a nurse and has been caring for him this whole time while working. He responds well to medicine but he has many complications which arise suddenly. For example recently he has shortness of breath, trouble speaking, and constipation. My mom has been constantly taking him to various doctor appointments. She is getting really tired of it. I wish I could help but I have a demanding job, graduate studies, and a family of my own (wife is pregnant). How to caregivers who work a lot, deal with doctor appointments? Do people hire home health aides to do all of this? My dad is not sick enough to be in a nursing home, but he needs someone to drive him to doctors and speak with them on his behalf. Any advice?

By susger8 On 2012.02.17 06:45
I use all my vacation time to take Dad to doctor appointments. He does not live very close to me, and is farther from my work, so it takes at least a half day to a full day off of work every time. This has been a problem, for sure.

In my area you can get someone from the Red Cross to drive you to doctor appointments for a relatively low cost. However, as in your situation, my dad needs someone to speak to the doctors on his behalf. Even when he was fairly independent I was going with him, since he never told the doctors any of his bothersome symptoms and tended to forget or misinterpret what the doctors said.

I know of agencies around here that not only provide health aides, but also people who are kind of case workers. I think they could fill this type of need.

Do you have a social worker for your father? I'm not sure if he would qualify for a social worker from the county or city office on aging (I am also 60 and I am having trouble thinking of that as an age to be a senior citizen!). But if he qualifies as disabled he may be able to get a social worker that way. There are so many services available, but they are not easy to find. A social worker would know.

I found some interesting services by going to a local "caregiver fair" at a nearby senior center. A lot of those services would be helpful for a younger person too.


By karolinakitty On 2012.02.17 08:54
Good point Sue...getting a social worker involved would help a lot...

We live in the back woods and the only thing available to us is a van that would take him to appointments. Ours depends on how many have appointments that day and is very unreliable.

When I lived in Pittsburgh the rapid transit there had a program for Seniors that did this. You booked your appointment ahead of time and they had drivers who would help the person all the way to the office. My mother was blind and she used this service a lot. It was cheaper than a bus. But you had to buy "tickets" ahead of time and present them to the driver before boarding.

So check out your local transit authority also..they may have a plan also in place for seniors....

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