My dad has had parkinsons for 4 years and everyday I want him back to my dad…
I need some advise on swallowing my dad had pheumeon in March came out of hospital may but since than has had a cough that he struggles to clear… Today he can’t seem to cough it up my mum has sat him up but can anyone help me please

Hi @Carebear3,

I’m sorry to hear that your father is struggling with that persistent cough. I hope others who have experienced this in some way can share useful tips to help your father. In the meantime, you may find it useful to have a look at the section on our website dedicated to dealing with eating, swallowing and saliva control here.

I hope you find helpful information there.

Best wishes for you and your family,
Mara (Moderation team)

My Mum has Stage 3 PD. She has been living with PD since it was diagnosed when she turned 62 (now 90). I am her sole carer 24/7 and experience the sadness and challenges of her condition. We had the Speech therapist to the house and she gave some hints but as most PD patients suffer conditions individually I hope my experiences with my Mum will help. Eating: we get small quantities throughout the day full of all the vital elements like vitamins and minerals. Small amounts in to her mouth too. Frequent sips of water to push it all along and down. Swallowing: Mum finds difficulty swallowing if something is too large, or tough meat, or something of that kind. We make her spit that out, never force it, and drink a sip of water to clear the mouth, force anything still in her pipes down into the stomach. Saliva control was easier before she went into Stage 3. Now she keeps tissues around all the time. We INSIST on constant sips of drinks. In Mum’s case she likes the gassy ones unfortunately but then at her age I don’t think it matters too much so long as she doesn’t just drink these. She’s pretty good now even though she hates water! She’ll drink a 500ml water in half a day, at least 2 or 3 mugs of tea, ovaltine at night, or just milk. I make her a soup with chicken and vegs every single night for her last meal and she has the chicken/vegs but the ‘soup’ in a cup. I make it thin so she can drink it okay. We use straws for easy drinking, so the sips are at her pace/discretion as to the size of the sip. Also, holding and drinking from the lip of a cup/mug is no longer an option. We use yoghurt (liquid) to take our pills daily, every time, and she likes drinking icecream with a straw from a mug! It’s hard work for everyone concerned but I’ve insisted that she has enough to worry about with the disease … after all her sacrifices to me it is the least I can do to help her now to face this horrid disease and to be as comfortable and as loved as I can make her. Every so often I have to ‘‘up my care’’ of her and this makes me very sad indeed.
Regarding the cough: Mum has catarrah and this makes her cough. If she lies down at night all the mucus rises up around her throat and she coughs badly. We have made it so she sits up at night (she panics less this way, feels more in control herself). When the mucus rises up to interfere with her then she goes into the toilet and we make her inhale something like tiger balm/steam. Not for long … just a couple of deep breaths seems to be enough to release all that stuff and it comes up naturally.
Do hope all this helps you and sorry for the long winded explanation … it IS a difficult problem … PD … but with everyone helping with their experiences and knowledge perhaps our loved ones will be given the strength to cope.