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Parkinson`s Disease/Parkinson's and a feeding tube


Samuel wrote at 2009-12-06 22:18:00
Hi Margot

My dad (72) is in final stage of parkinson I believe. He is getting fed by tube, lost his ability to speak, bed sores, had pneumonia, chest infection, TLC- 32000, high blood sugar. In the last 4 years everything happened. He had a stroke, then his Vertebra fractured since then he is bed ridden. My mother has been looking after him, he was hospitalised last month. His breathing is like an engine, his eyes are shut.I feel very upset to see him going through this- due to bed sores he is in pain. We are so sad to see him, I shut the door and cry. I dont know how long he has to suffer, he showed some gestures that he is experiencing some pain in his back. It all happened in the last 4 years, PD is a real evil disease. He cant swallow at all. Some body advised me about stem cells a while ago, but I did not find any strong result so I dropped the idea.Do you think I made a mistake? I regret sometimes that I could have enquired more about stem cells.

Jenny Green wrote at 2010-01-14 17:33:00
My family and I have watched my mother suffer from Parkinson's for over 20 years now.  I can tell you that with Parkinson's you will face many trials, just when you think the love one is stable another event happens.  With our mother, we spoke with her many years ago on live prolonging techniques, and she was always against them. (I don't think we thought we ever would really be in the position to have to make that decision for her, today, here we, should we have a feeding tube placed or not). I say, let nature take it course, she is in a nursing home and a very good one at that, but that is still a lonely sad place for anyone to be.

Please be patient and understanding with your mother, this cannot be easy for her, expcially if they have been together for many years.  They probably have had one or two discussions on prolonging life techniques throughout their years and told each other what they wanted.

In the end, I would say to pray about this.  Let God guide you.

et wrote at 2011-05-11 21:12:37
Hi Linda,

Just read about your Mom has PD and has for at least 12 years now...she is 85.  She has been working with a speech therapist on swallowing that has helped her a lot.  She has given her exercises and STEM treatment on her throat muscles that have helped.  Perhaps your Dad's Doc could prescribe this for him.  She also helped with instructing her on drinking the liquids thickened with THICK IT, taking meds with pudding, how to swallow, when not to talk during a meal etc.  It has really helped.  She had a Barium swallow test done that showed how she swallowed and what food types she could not eat. All useful info. Just something to check out if the feeding tube seems to be an issue right now.


buckaroo wrote at 2011-06-16 14:15:43

I just read your post regarding your father and a feeding tube.   My mother and I had to cross this bridge and while at first the thought was abhorive the medical folks (doctors and nurses)  assure her it really wasn't.  Without the tube, my father most certainly would not have lasted long.  He could not swallow properly and as a result was aspirating (food into the lungs) which resulted in several phenumonia's.   He was lucky to overcome them and from then on, on the advice of his pulmonary doctor, we monitored his temperature for even a half degree increase which might be a signal for the onset of phenumonia.

The feeding tube (100% of the time) stopped the aspiration problem.  He had earlier  suffered a stroke and could not speak through all of this.   He got along without difficulty on the tube.  

He also had the mucus problem and sometimes coughed and sputtered.   I believe it might have made him feel as though he were going to choke.  Again, his pulmonary doctor assured us he  would  not choke.   The solution for this proved to be a trach and canula which made it easier for him to expel the stringy mucas.

He live for several additional years with these steps all of which my mother tended to dutifully.  To say no to any of these I am certain would have meant a much earlier death.  jim

skippy zippy wrote at 2011-07-21 16:23:26
Although your original post was two years ago, I wanted to share my experience with my father in this situation.  In our case, the more informed we became on feeding tubes, the more comfortable we became.  As one doctor finally said to my mother, "I don't know why you would not do this".  He suggested we go a few  doors down the hall at the hospital and talk to folks who opted for the tube.   We did and we gained a comfort level.

Without it, we would have missed another three or four years with my dad.   We went to the ballpark (in wheel chair), (even attended a Yankee's game in NYC.   We enjoyed concerts and many many family get together's which without the feeding tube, would never have occurred.

In the end, as his pulmonologist predicted, it was a phneumona that did him in but that would have most certainly occurred years earlier without the feeding tube.

My 85 year old  mother actually did  all the tube feeding without difficulty.

We felt opting out on the tube would require us to watch dad starve to death.   Because of a stroke he could not speak at that point and doubtful make this decision for himself.   What a terrible choice to face.   The tube was a far better answer at least  for our family.

peewee wrote at 2014-07-12 21:45:36
the bible says thou shalt not murder, that all life is of infinite value, no matter of its  quality, or its duration.

Parkinson`s Disease

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Margot RN BScN GNC


Please feel free to ask anything, but the more specific you are, the easier it is for me. Please share as many details as you are comfortable doing. I do check my Emails daily Monday through Friday so you should receive an answer within 24 hours on most business days. Thanks.


GERONTOLOGY (NURSING ISSUES RELATED TO THE ELDERLY) I have 25+ years experience working with the elderly. I would be pleased to offer any assistance I can. My areas of expertise include: Gerontology / Geriatrics, Long Term Care, Community Nursing, Palliative Care, Private Nursing Services, Intermediate / Extended Care. I also have a personal interest in Homeopathic and Eastern Medicine. If I can not answer your question I'll do my best to direct you to an appropriate resource. Thank you.
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20 years of Long Term Care and Community Nursing, specialising in Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care.

Registered Nurse , Certified Gerontological Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

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