Hospital stays can be detrimental to Parkinson’s patients’ health. According to statistics from the National Parkinson’s Foundation, 3 out of 4 Parkinson’s patients do not receive their medications on time which can be extremely harmful.
Here are 5 things to do in preparation for your visit to the hospital:
1. Notify the hospital that you have Parkinson’s disease. Make sure that all of the doctors working with you in the hospital are aware that you have Parkinson’s prior to your hospital stay. If you find yourself in the hospital due to an emergency then make sure that you and your caregiver tell the nursing staff immediately upon arrival.
2. Alert the staff and doctors that you must take your medications on time. Parkinson’s patients absolutely must take medication on time. There are adverse effects that occur when a patient goes off of their schedule, but many hospitals mandate that patients stop self-administering drugs. Make sure that the nurses and physicians know about your schedule and don’t feel shy about speaking up when it is time to take your medicine.
3. Keep your neurologist or primary care doctor informed. While you will receive care from the physicians and nurses you will want to notify your neurologist and/or primary care doctor of your hospital stay. Ask if your regular physician can send your medical records to the hospital so that the staff is aware of your disease. Remember to follow up with your physician after your hospital stay to keep them posted on your health.
4. Ask for an Aware in Care kit. The National Parkinson’s Foundation created a comprehensive and convenient kit that was made specifically for Parkinson’s patients for emergency situations. The kits are free and available through the Foundation.
5. Recovery properly and under supervision. One of the most important things to focus on is the recovery period after a hospital stay. Make sure that you are following the hospital physician’s order and follow up with your regular physician after your hospital stay.