Over the years things change and fashions come and go.
When I started out as a Parkinson’s nurse over 20 years ago, the received wisdom was to delay treatment until it was difficult to do daily tasks. The idea was that as the medication only worked for a number of years, it would be better to delay taking it for as long as possible. We now know that this is not the case and Continue reading Liz Scott (May 2016)
Exercise is proving to be very important in keeping fit and healthy. Dr Jackson and I always encourage exercise and we feel it is as important as taking medication in the treatment of Parkinson’s.
There is growing evidence that physical fitness helps with the cognitive decline associated with dementia, Parkinson’s and depression. In part this is because exercise gets your blood pumping, which brings more oxygen, growth factors, Continue reading Liz Scott (Feb 2016)
Taking medications on time is the key to optimizing your Parkinson’s control. There are various timers available such as the TabTime 8 and Pill Box Reminder – these will beep to let you know that your pills are due and you open them up and turn off the alarm and take your tablet.
If you turn off alarms and still forget to take the tablet there is a Pivotell Alarm Tablet box. This looks like a saucer and up to 2 weeks’ worth of your medication can be placed inside. When your tablet is due Continue reading Liz Scott (Nov 2015)
When you have a problem with your Parkinson’s control, what should you do?
If your symptoms get worse quite quickly over a few days, this is not an indication that your condition is progressing more quickly. It usually means that something is interfering with the way your body is using the medication. Check that your medication is correct and that you are taking it at the right times. Continue reading Liz Scott (Aug 2015)
Planning for end of life
Benjamin Franklin once said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Some people may feel that planning for the end of life is not something they need to do or think about but whether you have Parkinson’s or not, it is something we all need to address.
This was brought home to me Continue reading Liz Scott (May 2015)
Constipation is a common problem for people with Parkinson’s. It is also recognised as one of the earliest symptoms of the disease and can occur years before the physical symptoms become evident. The problem is that the whole of the digestive system slows down and consequently moisture is reabsorbed leaving hard stools to be passed (reminiscent of Continue reading Liz Scott (Feb 2015)
Going into hospital
When you are seriously ill, hospital is the best place to get treated and made well again. If you need an operation, again hospital is the best place.
Having Parkinson’s means that whatever the reason for your admission, you need to make sure that you take all your medication with you into hospital.
There are some medications that are not kept by the hospital pharmacy and have to be specially ordered in. If you are admitted at night or during a weekend, there can be a delay getting your medication to you because the on-call pharmacist has to be called in to obtain the drug if it is not in the emergency drug
cupboard. If you are admitted on a weekday there can still be a delay while pharmacy dispenses your medicine. Continue reading Liz Scott (Nov 2014)
Let’s hope by the time you read this we are enjoying barbecue weather!
Are you drinking enough? You may be tired of hearing health professionals asking: “Are you drinking enough?”. Why are we so obsessed and how much should you drink?
If you do not drink enough, you can become dehydrated and this can cause headaches, confusion, urinary tract infections and constipation. Thirst is a very poor indicator of whether you need to drink.
How much is enough?
Health professionals suggest that the minimum number of drinks per day is six. Think back to yesterday – can you count how many drinks you had? Continue reading Liz Scott (Aug 2014)
Spring is here at last!
It’s been a long wet winter, but let’s hope we can put all that behind us now.
It is often the case that when you see lots of people with Parkinson’s there is a common theme. This month a lot of people have mentioned problems with sleep.
Difficulty in getting to sleep and staying asleep is a common problem, as is sleeping too much. What helps both problems is getting out into the bright light and the fresh air.
This is because sunlight stimulates the production of melatonin which we know is low in Parkinson’s. Bright light helps with alertness and well-being. It helps the brain to distinguish day from night. We have all noted how much better we sleep after a day spent out of doors. Keeping awake during the day and asleep during the night is what everyone wants. Continue reading Liz Scott (May 2014)
I am writing this on New Year’s Eve, reflecting on the year just gone and wondering what challenges the year ahead will bring. One thing about getting older is that the years just fly by. It does not seem possible that we are in the 14th year of the millennium and will soon be commemorating the centenary of the first world war.
One thing for sure is that life never stays the same. We have to make changes, adjustments and compromises all the time. This is particularly true when you are living with Parkinson’s. The knack is knowing when to make allowances and when to soldier on. There is a phrase I like which is “accommodation without surrender” – not about giving in, but making compromises and changes to get the most out of life. Continue reading Liz Scott (Feb 2014)