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My 80 year old father has been diagnosed with Parkinson's, is confined to a walker, and feels as though he has no purpose in life. I'd like to find some sort of table-top hobby that he could do, for example building wooden toys for kids in a homeless shelter, something that would give him a sense of self-worth. Any suggestions as to where I could buy kits for something like this?
By Leslie from Louisville, KY
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I do caregiving for someone with Parkinson's disease. They usually go to bed at 8pm and when I arrive at 11am they are sometimes still in bed. The person that spends the night can't wake her up. A Dr. has said to just let her sleep. I just disagree. I never have a problem waking her up. I think it's important to get her up at least by 9am, so she can have her morning meds and breakfast. If she sits in the living room and sleeps in her chair so what. At least she is out around other family and not stuck in the bedroom. I think it's also important to do her daily exercises and walking. Too me leaving these patents lay in bed, means they are going to get too stiff. Am I wrong?
Yes, I do believe they could get stiff. You are right about giving meds on a schedule, too, but more importantly, these patients need socialization with other people and not being left in a bed for hours on end. My dear dad had Parkinson's for 37 years.
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My father is a victim of Parkinson's Disease, and recently his condition has taken a turn for the worse. He is now unable to go to work or do any of the active things that he used to love to do. My mom has a full time job so my dad has to sit at home all day bored with nothing to do. Any suggestions on things to keep my father's mind engaged and to give him something fun to do?
Here's a little more information on my father. He does not really have very many hobbies. He was a man who loved work, being active (swimming, running, etc.), and coaching his kids (we are all moved out of the house now). The thing is that these are all things that my father cannot do anymore. Thank you very much.
By Jake from OH
This is hard for me. Female and lazy, a book reader. But can you find some chair-bound active games that he can acquire some skills at. He wouldn't be competing against anyone other than himself, and with Parkinson's, the first step might be to deal with the shakes, though I've read that sometimes the shakes go away temporarily with concentration. I'm talking about seated golf, or horseshoes, or that sort of thing. Talk to the physical therapist at your local hospital or VA Center, or county ADA office (they may be able to refer you to an expert). They will have dealt with this before. Good luck. An unhappy and depressed person has little quality in his/her life. (08/13/2009)
I don't know if this would help or not, but does he have a laptop computer? My husband is in a similar situation due to other health problems. He used to be a workaholic, but has had heart attack, cancer, and now diabetes. So he is physically not able to do anything he used to love. He spends hours a day reading newspapers from around the world, and he belongs to some blogs that keep him busy and engaged. I'm sure there are some blogs out there that are of an interest your dad may have. I hope this helps. Without this, I think my husband would go crazy.(08/14/2009)
How about giving him family photos that are in boxes and ask him to organize them into albums? It is a real need plus he would enjoy the memories. (08/14/2009)
I hope this link will be helpful to you:
Try going to a craft store and getting him some cheap easy crafts to make. I would suggest some puzzles, but this depends on how much shaking he does. (08/14/2009)
Does your town have a senior center that provides transportation? Many do. He could go for lunch and activities that they have. This is usually free or very cheap. (08/15/2009)
My husband and I used to camp out and hike in the Arizona mountains. We also coached Special Olympics. He, too, is pretty much confined to the house now with Parkinson's. He has started doing genealogy research on the internet. He also loves military aircraft, so he does some history research on airplanes. He also gets into the public broadcasting websites and finds all kinds of videos about nature, history and geology in each state. He watches the videos to take a virtual trip since he can't do the actual hiking. Find some subject your dad would be interested in and get him on the internet. My husband is down to typing with two fingers now, but he loves researching things. Good luck, I know how hard it is. (08/17/2009)