Preparing a Person With Parkinson’s for a Hospital Stay (AARP)

Preparing a Person With Parkinson’s for a Hospital Stay

About 1 million people in the United States have Parkinson’s. Neurologist Michael Okun, M.D., medical director for the Parkinson’s Foundation and chair of neurology at University of Florida Health, says it is the fastest-growing neurological disorder in the world. One of the things that’s most troubling for patients, Okun says, is communicating their needs when they’re admitted to the hospital.

“One of the common themes is that the nurses, the staff at the hospital, however well-meaning they were, they were not prepared to take care of the Parkinson patient,” he says. “They didn’t have an appreciation for the importance of getting medicines on time, every time. They didn’t have the appreciation that certain commonly used medications in hospitals can actually harm a person with Parkinson’s because of potential complications.”

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