Wont Help Himself

My dad was diagnosed approx 3 years ago with Parkinsons.  Since then he has got progressively worse, but more so in the last few months.  He has never read any the leaflets or books , will not do any of the exercises that the books recommend.  When he wants to get up out of a chair he puts out his arm and expects my mum to pull him up,my mum has read the books and tells him over and over again the way to get up, but he sees it as being unhelpful.  The main problem at the minute is sleeping at night.  He just can't get comfortable and he spends all night getting up  down and its my mum who is having to help.  He refuses to try the new pillow she bought him and he complains about neck pain.   If I try to talk to him about it he walks out of the room or closes his eyes. He will not go to any of the help groups.  My mum is getting more frustrated by the day and the lack of sleep is wearing her down, whereas my dad is happy to snooze all day.

Can anyone help? 



I am so sorry to hear that your Dad is behaving like this.

It is a dreadful shock to receive a diagnosis like this, but he needs to take responsibility for his illness and accept that others are finding it stressful too.

If I were your Mum I would tell him that I couldn't go on supporting him without  adequate sleep and move into a spare bedroom.

He would  be able to catch up by snoozing in the day and hopefully your Mum would be better able to cope.

Also, she needs to say that she cannot pull him out of the chair as it will damage her back.

A bit of tough love and he may try harder to help himself.

Basically, he behaves like this because he can.

As long as you make it clear you will help him explore how to cope.....and that you both love him...he will ,hopefully, and eventually , accept he must take some responsibility  for his own welfare and his wife's well-being.



Hi, Julie F --

I agree completely with goldengirl's response.  If you had said your dad was diagnosed three weeks ago, I'd have been willing to cut him some slack.  This diagnosis is always a shock and can produce some very strange reactions.  But three years is too long for the pwp to be rude and unfeeling toward family members.  We sometimes need sympathy and understanding of our moods, but we do not have licence to torment others by turning them into sleep-deprived servants!

If I were you, I'd have private talks with both parents and try to work out some changes in routine for the future.  Your mum may need your support to take a tougher stance.

Best wishes to your family --



                  Hello Julie

            Your Dad is suffering from the worst kind of depression, in his mind so much  has been lost and the road ahead only leads to more of the same so he has given up the fight for with PD its always a battle on two fronts against parky and depression, he must seek help or he is on a bad trip  you can beat PD but not until you beat depression.

                                    Kindest Regards       Fed

fedexlike --  Very wise of you to spot the symptoms of depression.  I missed the boat!  Serious depression defeats one's will and one's ability to deal thoughtfully with others. 

Julie, you and your mother must somehow get your father help soon. If PD is allowed to run its course unimpeded, it will move fast and make life more difficult.

Best wishes for your family --


Hi Julie

Perhaps your Dad is suffering from depression and needs medical intervention.If so, I am sorry I sounded so lacking in sympathy.

Only a doctor can diagnose this and prescribe the appropriate care.

The question is....did he expect your Mum to run round him before the Parkinson's was diagnosed?

If  so , then it is unlikely to be his condition causing it .

Whatever the outcome, your Mum needs help and support to cope with all of this and certainly needs sleep.

Perhaps both of them need a long talk with your Parkinson's nurse to establish what is going on and the best way for both to move forward.




          Hello and good morning Julie.

                     I  am sorry it was such a short post last night parky was giving me problems and I  just could not concentrate, I am 99% this morning so I thought I should expand on the information regarding depression and BLACKHEART, as I often refer to PD. The horrible evil  combination of these two allies will be crushing your father and removing any fight he has in him, he must have treatment to ease the depression before progress can be made against PD,If you try and talk your Father into seeing a Psychiatrist ,talk to your Consultants and PD Nurses they will stert the ball rolling and Dad will see  the right person  for the job as some mental health  professionals specialise  and are exellent in their treatment of PD  patients, all the help I recieved  to strengthen my mind while at the same time filtering through the countless types and dosage needed to stop  parky  was instrumental  in enabling me to take charge  and batter these twin evils with great success , I  still have depressive mood swings but no way near as   bad as they were, and also stil have the odd freezing attacks but they are becoming less of a problem now.  The main drug in my arsenal is the very very good Duodopa , which involves surgery as it feeds Dpamine from a external pump into my small intestine, dont mention this to your father as it is a last resort and I had taken every possible combinatioin of drugs and this system saved me from a certain breakdown, I also take anti depressant and also  drugs to help with sleep disturbances, dreams and visions, I should tell you Julie it has taken me over 12 years to learn all the tricks and dodges in dealing with this pig of a evil hatefull spitefull accursed disease( as you can tell I dont like PD) so prepare yourself for a long haul it will be hard but you will win, but  start now and be strident in the call to arms, your whole family must understand the effects BLACKHEART Iis having o your father believe me its the worst nightmare come true and you will all have to constantly encourage and persuade him to take up the battle and beat parky, it can be done, If I can do it so can your Father.

                                    I wish you well in your endeavours , you will win


Thanks for all your comments.  I have read alot about depression and also apathy.   From day one my dad has refused to read any of the books, he says he has Parkinsons, he doesn't need to read how it makes you feel because he knows. He's stubborn!  I have now got him a couple of books from the library and keep telling him knowledge is power and that there are exercises he can do to help him stay strong.  At the minute he seems to be getting weaker by the day, he had an appointment on Monday with the Parkinson Nurse, he was uncomfortable, his body ached and he couldn't sit still and they ended up leaving before he had had the full appointment and before my mum had asked all the things she had wanted to.  The Parkinson Nurse said she thought he might have a bug as she said Parkinsons shouldn't progress as quick as it has.  She told my mum to make him a doctors appointment. She also dismissed use of an energy boosting suppliment COQ10.

My mum had to get the doctor to visit as my dad was to weak to walk. She said he didn't have a bug, prescribed a mild sleeping tablet and thats was that.  They have been looking at getting him a new chair so hopefully he will be more comfortable.  The sleeping tablet worked for about 2 hours and then it was back to getting up and down constantly, so another sleepless night. He can nap in the day but my mum can't.  

I will speak to my mum to try and get him assessed for depression, but having read about apathy he seems to fit into this better, but may also be able to get help, though if he doesn't want to do something he can be most unco-opertive. 

Thanks again for all your view, its helpful to be able to tap into everyones thoughts. 




     Hello Julie

                    You have done so much to help your Father I cannot suggest anything ,  apathy can hold back any likely improvement  , he may come round and find his own level eventually and build from there, the Brain is a amazing organ and can suddenly flip into repair mode I know this as I had the same experience your Dad went through.,you are on the right track Julie.

                                            Kindest Regards     Fed

Thanks Fed, your comments have definately helped, me and my mum have discussed everything you have said, and we feel we have a bit more ammunition to help him out,

Many, many thanks, Julie 



You are most welcome , I know  how you are suffering, and your Father also, its one of natures more wicked inventions, you will win through.

                                                   Kindest Regards           Fed


One of the strangest things about some forms of depression is the sufferer is not aware they are actually depressed. It can manifest itself in anger, frustration, laziness etc. A clinical psychologist would help with diagnosis and medication.

Once the sufferer can admit to themselves they are depressed, the healing process can begin. It's not an easy path to tread, but with care and hard work it can be achieved.

It gets harder the longer it is left untreated. Things become 'normal', which are not normal.

Sitting around waiting to die is such a waste. There are so many possibilities for even the worst cases. Look at Mohammed Ali when he lit the Olympic flame. There is life after Parkinson's.

I hope you can reach your father, tough love may be required........done with empathy. Going in all guns blazing, without medical help, may trigger a more serious case of depression. Getting angry is counter productive, the brain shuts off.