Hospitals and Parkinsons

Hospitals and Parkinsons

Having an elderly relative in hospital with Parkinson’s disease and trying to find out information is a real headache.

The elderly relative tells you one story and the hospital staff tell you another, how do you pick out the truth? The elderly relative with Parkinson’s picks up bits of conversations and messages but they can often piece the wording back together to mean something else.

You read the charts at the end of the bed which contain ineligible handwriting and scribbled out notes. Even if you can work out the writing you don’t understand the jargon. The descriptions and health conditions look like they have been written in a different language.

Shouting into the hearing aids you ask what the elderly relative has had to eat and have they taken their medication? Depending on whether they are having a good day or a bad day, you get a mixed response.

The elderly relative tells you that the staff are nice and that he is being looked after well, this is reassuring and puts your mind at rest.

Should more diaries and notes be passed onto the families and relatives? Should hospital staff be more visible at visiting times to fill in the gaps and keep you updated?

Should we be looking at training and new ways of working?