Effect of grief on Parkinson’s progression

Since July I have seen a huge decline in my dads physical and cognitive ability - this follows the death of my grandmother. He already found communication very difficult but the sudden decline has been shocking and I can only put it down to the sudden loss? Anyone else experienced this? I can’t find anything about the impact of grief and loss on those with Parkinson’s- just articles on carers who grieve for their loved ones who lose the battle with Parkinson’s. Any advice / experience helpful

Hello Allyv86 and welcome to the forum.
It must be awful for you to see the change in your father following the death of your grandmother. You are quite right any information and advice regarding bereavement and Parkinson’s does tend to focus on carers and families. However your suspicions that his decline is linked to your grandmother’s death is something I would tend to agree with.

Stress and anxiety are quite common non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s and they can have a major impact on one’s physical and mental well being. When covid was at it’s height, information to people with Parkinson’s generally was that we were at no more at risk of catching covid than the general population but if we did catch it, we would be sicker. I don’t actually know this to be so but it does seem logical to me that a similar thing could behind your father’s decline and could equally apply to many other situations where high emotion is a factor. ,

As I said I don’t know it as fact but would seem to make
sense to me although quite what you can do about it is something else and I think in part anyway, depends on the sort of people you are and the relationship you share and what he will agree to. You could try talking to him yourself, or maybe you know someone who could do this, it may be worth getting him checked out by your GP - it might be there is an element of depression that could perhaps be helped by a short course of antidepressants- the GP may also think some form of counselling may help. This may of course not even be close to explaining your father’s decline and amount to little more than hypothetical reasoning.

You may want to think about giving the helpline a ring and see what they think and perhaps be able to give you a way forward. Sorry I can’t give you any concrete explanations for what your father is going through and why, but maybe something in what I’ve written will strike a chord and help a little.

Let us know how you are getting on
Best wishes