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Dad w/ Parkinson's Difficulty Swallowing
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to Parkinson’s disease, anger, anxiety, depression, balance, facial stiffness, genetics, handwriting difficulties, speech movement difficulties, nutrition and diet, rigidity (stiffness), sexuality, swallowing difficulties, tremors (shaking), walk (shuffling), and work issues.

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Dad w/ Parkinson's Difficulty Swallowing

Hi,

My 78 year old Dad has Parkinson's and is having a terrible time lately swallowing food.  Is this common?  Is there anything I can do to help him, other than giving him baby food?  He seems to choke even on small pieces of food.

Anyone having a similar problem?

Sandy
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Avatar_n_tn
MY MOTHER WAS IN A NURSING HOME WITH PD THEY PUREED HER FOOD AND WE WOULD FEED HER EVERY MEAL. PLEASE NO DOT GO TO THE STOMACK TUBE WORST THING I EVER DID.
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Avatar_n_tn
My mother 78 has Parkinsonism her neurologist just gave us a referral for a swallowing evaluation. In reading on the web about swallowing difficulties with PD this evaluation helps determine if there are changes that can be made to help.
Also check out the PD article on swallowing chapter 2 offers advice on how to improve swallowing.
http://www.parkinson.org/NETCOMMUNITY/Document.Doc?&id=65
Good luck.
KAT57
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Avatar_n_tn
My father is currently fighting what is likely his last fight against Aspiration Pneumonia.
This type of pneumonia is caused by my father swallowing food and his saliva down the wrong pipe.

Please take a few minutes to read about this so that you can be aware of things that can be done to prevent it.  Among these include making sure your loved one has good dental health so that they will not build up dental bacteria in their mouth which they then swallow down into their longs.   It also suggests that tube feeding (nose/stomach) also can be a problem since mouth bacteria is not flushed out into the stomach through the process of eating.  In other words, NOT feeding your loved one through the mouth can also cause the buildup of bacteria which is then swallowed into the lungs.

Hope this helps.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sadly, by the time my sweet dad was at this point he was on pureed foods only and we were spoon feeding him. This progressed quickly to liquids only and then to NPO. He had much earlier requested that his life not be prolonged by naso-gastric feedings or IV's, so we just had to slowly watch him fade away. He was able, to the very end, to eat popsicles and frozen juice bars, if we kind of melted them and trickled them down the side of his mouth. This did keep him moderately hydrated.
In the end we were glad he had chosen to go the no-special measures way..he made that decision when he was in his sound mind and I know he didn't regret it. Maybe his "life" would have been prolonged a few weeks, or months, but he was miserable and ready to die. I am proud beyond words he took that responsibility of choice away from us and went on his own terms.
I'm sure others here have experineces they can share that will help you.
All the best,
Liz
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Avatar_f_tn
Sadly, by the time my sweet dad was at this point he was on pureed foods only and we were spoon feeding him. This progressed quickly to liquids only and then to NPO. He had much earlier requested that his life not be prolonged by naso-gastric feedings or IV's, so we just had to slowly watch him fade away. He was able, to the very end, to eat popsicles and frozen juice bars, if we kind of melted them and trickled them down the side of his mouth. This did keep him moderately hydrated.
In the end we were glad he had chosen to go the no-special measures way..he made that decision when he was in his sound mind and I know he didn't regret it. Maybe his "life" would have been prolonged a few weeks, or months, but he was miserable and ready to die. I am proud beyond words he took that responsibility of choice away from us and went on his own terms.
I'm sure others here have experineces they can share that will help you.
All the best,
Liz
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Avatar_f_tn
Sadly, by the time my sweet dad was at this point he was on pureed foods only and we were spoon feeding him. This progressed quickly to liquids only and then to NPO. He had much earlier requested that his life not be prolonged by naso-gastric feedings or IV's, so we just had to slowly watch him fade away. He was able, to the very end, to eat popsicles and frozen juice bars, if we kind of melted them and trickled them down the side of his mouth. This did keep him moderately hydrated.
In the end we were glad he had chosen to go the no-special measures way..he made that decision when he was in his sound mind and I know he didn't regret it. Maybe his "life" would have been prolonged a few weeks, or months, but he was miserable and ready to die. I am proud beyond words he took that responsibility of choice away from us and went on his own terms.
I'm sure others here have experineces they can share that will help you.
All the best,
Liz
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
My mother has had Parkinson's since 2001.  She is slowly starving to death.  5' 7" and 98lbs.  She can no longer speak words, and it takes about 1 hour to eat a bowl of cream of wheat.  Other then the things I have mentioned she is healthy.  She drives, she exercises and goes to her support groups.  I have never ever seen anyone with PD who has these syptoms (symptoms).
I just got a phone call that she has decided to get the feeding tube for her stomach.  Is there anyone out there that can enlighten me on this.
Thank you so much!
Kimberly
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  Actually I know the non profit I volunteer as a part of sometimes has a Parkinson's support group and have providers do presentations. There are certainly better solutions that a feeding tube from what I have learned. I could give people more specific information from what I have learned from people in the agency if people have specific questions.
  I have dysphagia myself from advanced tardive dyskinesia and I was going to post a question about it myself as its extremely hard to cope with but I'll post that in the ear, nose and throat forum myself. It varies as the dosages of the two most effect agents I am using the medication Zofran and the natural remedy rhodiola are varied due to side effects. I still will have to wait to go to the dentist this year until I get choking episodes under control. One practical thing is I do is I cut my food up (or before the dystonic motions were under control a family member would) into small pieces and it may take a couple of hours to eat and I do it slowly and deliberately and focus. I will find out what could directly treat the dysphagia but the two medications I mentioned (Zofran is an approved medication off label for this use, rhodiola is a natural remedy but in official clinical study) have been extremely helpful in mitigating it as well as all other spasms.
  But there's one thing people need to be aware of. And yes I have some familiarity with this because the director of where I volunteer on the board had a grandmother with Parkinsons's. That's why she founded the agency. I saw her until the end. And yes, aspects of her life were horrible. But she lived her life in the community until the end. That was essential. I've seen the conditions in nursing homes and some can be horrible. Obama has pledged to sign the Community Choice Act (look it up) so that federal funding can follow a person from a nursing home to living in the community with a home attendant who they can pick and train. I am 36 years old and will need a home attendant just to get out and about. And young people are in nursing homes as well as rehab. facilities unneccesarily. I don't deny people their grieving experiences. But the important thing as well is to advocate for new treatments for Parkinsons's, find practical means to cope with what exists such as home attendant services and laws that will enable this to occur more readily. I'll see what I can find out personally to treat my dysphagia (dystonic convulsions in my throat) but in my life the only tragedy is injustice and one I refuse to accept. I will remain a part of the community and so should every person with a disability at any age.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Sandy my dad has parkinsons disease and also has the same problem - choking. This apparenty is a common problem in people with parkinsons and my dad is being referred for physiotherapy.  I also did know someone several years ago who had their oesophagus stretched so Ive asked my mum to mention this to the hospital when they go for their next appointment but I dont think it will work in my dads case but Im just clinging to a bit of hope.
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671319_tn?1225926195
hi Sandy.  I have Parkinsons and I too have difficulty swallowing.  My trouble is not that bad at this time.  I am 75, and was diagnosed with PD almost 3 years ago now.

I am concerned for myself, that with the passage of time, my swallowing difficulty will worsen.  My more immediate worry is not my swallowing, but my balance and walk.  They are worsening very rapidly. I am still riding my motorcycles, but the day will come, I fear, that it will no longer be safe for me to ride.

I have no suggestions to offer you on delaying the swallowing difficulty.

I pray daily for some big breakthroughs in PD treatment.

scooter78666
San Marcos, Texas
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Avatar_n_tn
Can you tell me if it is also very painful to swallow? My aunt has Parkinson's and I take care of her and lately she is complaining of a lot of pain when swallowing so she is losing weight now because she will not finish her meals. The doctor did not see anything wrong with her throat and the dentist did not see anything wrong with her mouth, but even with Ampicillin for 7 days, she is still complaining. She does not choke because she chews her food endlessly before attempting to swallow.  What should I do next, other than an ear, nose and throat doctor who will look further down the throat?
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Avatar_m_tn
protein drinks in a can with a straw stuck in it can made a person gain weight and still get nutrition. Also scoops of protein powder made in a blender, only takes a minute.
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