I have just joined your forum hoping to gain some advice.
I live in Dublin and my father, aged 69 (70 in March) was diagnosed with Parkinsons about 4 years ago. Since then he has got progressively worse. He was always a big strong man, hard working and full of life, wit and good humour.
Over the last couple of years he has suffered greatly with pain, and his movement has gone very slow. He is very unsteady on his feet and has fell quite a few times.
Up until November 2015, he was still quite independent - although he had given up playing golf, he still drove and was involved with St Vincent De Paul charity where he did voluntary work a couple of days a week.
Since about a week before Christmas, he has gone downhill quite quickly. At first he was suffering with a sicky feeling in his stomach which had him feeling rotten, then he found it very hard to sleep at night, getting up several times a night. Also, to add to the forgetfulness that was already creeping into his life, he started getting very confused, sometimes thinking he was somewhere else, other than at home or that there had been people in the house when there wasn't.
His GP put him on a mild sleeping tablet but this only helped for a night or two. He was back with the Neurologist a fortnight or so and he took my dad off the sleeping tablet and put him on a relaxant/anti-depressant of which I'm not sure the name. This didn't help with the sleep and only made him more confused than he already was.
He was back in the hospital last week and my mam explained to the nurse that the tablets were making him very dopey and confused but not helping him to sleep so they took him off the newer tablets and doubled his Parkinsons meds - Sinamet (spelling?)
At the moment, as a family our first concern is that both my parents get some sleep - they've had very little sleep for 5 weeks now and my dad is so dependant on my mam that she really needs to be getting sleep but unfortunately he needs her as much at night as he does during the day. My dad is in and out of bed almost every hour at night and my mam has to help him in and out of bed each time.
I have 3 brothers and we have all chipped in as much as we can - between the 4 of us, we are going to stay 2 or 3 nights a week to try and let my mam get some sleep but that is not really the long term solution. We are ready to do whatever it takes to help but we fear that without proper sleep, they'll keel over.
I know symptoms of Parkinsons can be heightened at night but I'm wondering if anybody has any advice for sleeping.
Thanks in advance,