Mar 10, 2020
When people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are admitted to a hospital, it is most often not for their PD but is for some other condition. Nonetheless, they have unique needs related to their PD that nurses and doctors may not be aware of. Thus, the patient or caregiver must inform the staff of those needs. A major consideration is the timing of medications. The typical hospital practice of dispensing medications every three or four hours may not work for someone with PD who has carefully worked out with their neurologist the best individual medication schedule to give them the best outcomes. One helpful resource is the Parkinson’s Foundation’s free Aware in Care kit that can specify what medications should be given to that individual and when. In this episode, Edie Simpson, a retired neurology nurse from the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, describes how hospitals typically operate and explains why a person with PD or a care partner must educate hospital staff and be an advocate for the hospitalized person to ensure the best and safest care possible.