Dad is newly diagnosed...

Hi there, my dad was diagnosed a couple of months ago and made the huge decision to leave my mum and asked if could live in with me and my fiancée. They believe it’s vascular and he’s on Levodopa but it’s difficult as I hadn’t seen him for a few months so can’t really say if there’s been an improvement. My big issue is that he’s 80 and it feels as tho he’s a visitor in the house still and he’s not doing much with his time. Watched a bit of TV and that’s it. What can I be offering to help keep him busy? His mobility isn’t great, he doesn’t have tremors so could still do practical things is suppose. I’m at a loss of how to help if I’m honest. Massive change for all of us. Suzie

Hi @suzieQ, welcome to the forums, it sounds like you’ve all been through a lot of change over the last few months, in addition to adapting to life with Coronavirus too.

You and your dad might find our resources for people who are Newly Diagnosed useful and we also have a pages for people supporting or caring for a family member with Parkinson’s.

I’m sure other forum members will be able to suggest activities that can keep your Dad occupied and productive at home, however you might also want to ask his GP or Parkinson’s nurse/clinic for some input from a Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist. They will be able to help identify exercises, strategies and aids that can help to maintain his mobility and independence and keeping him safe at home and when out and about.

You can find out more about daily living aids on our Equipment, Living Aids and Technology pages, and we’ve put together a Staying Active at Home during Coronavirus for people with Parkinson’s too.

Face to face activities for our groups across the UK are currently suspended, however during more normal times our groups organise a variety of activities and events for people affected by Parkinson’s. Do use the search facility on the Information and Support homepage to find out what’s happening near you. Some of our groups have adapted and are providing online meetings and activities.

You may also find it useful to contact our Helpline and Local Adviser Service for a chat, we can talk through your concerns, offer advice and help you identify local resources for you and your Dad.

Warm regards,
Forum Moderation Team

Hello Suzie Q
Sorry to be a bit slow to respond have had internet problems. I think your last sentence says it all ‘massive change for all of us’ including your mother. A couple of months isn’t that long and it may just take a bit of time for everything to bed in and for all of you to feel comfortable with the changes to everyone’s lives. The thought that occurred to me was what did he do before coming to live with you, that may give you a start point. The other thing that occurred to me is how have you set up the living arrangements - does he have his self contained room/s or does he live ‘en famille’ It could be worth considering these before anything else. If for eg the house was mainly his wife’s domain in terms of cooking, cleaning etc. it may not occur to him to do anything other than what went before. Similarly if for eg his morning routine was to sit in his chair with the paper, again why would he want to change something that suited him. Have you spoken to him about what he does with his time and how he feels about it or is it you who thinks he should be doing something constructive with his time.? You are quite right the more physically active he can be the better in Parkinson’s terms and of course some kind of social interaction valuable, but my feeling is you perhaps need to understand what he did before to help you see what he needs now. May be worth giving it a bit of thought. Good luck.