How do I get my wife with Parkinson's disease to take her medication?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My wife has Parkinson's for 12 years, she recently had her 3rd stroke, sleeps 90% of the time. She is not eating only a couple of bites at each meal. She does not swallow her meds and keeps them in her mouth. We have given her applesauce, pudding and ice cream in an effort to get her meds down, but this is not working. I would appreciate suggests.

Expert Answers

Graham A. Glass, MD, is the deputy director of the San Francisco Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Care Center (PADRECC) and an assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He completed a fellowship in movement disorders at the Mayo Clinic.

This sounds like a very difficult situation in which the Parkinson's and stroke are interacting. I would reccomend that you meet with a speech pathologist who can check to see if her ability to swallow is still fully intact. If so, this represents a very difficult situation in which one may need to determine if she is getting enough nutrition overall and how to address those needs in addition to the medications. Hopefully her neurologist or primary care doctor can help pursue specific options. Sorry to not have a great solution for this very difficult problem.

Community Answers

Janol answered...

I use a straw for the drink to help him swallow the meds. Sometimes an "old" memory will click in and they will remember how to swallow with using a drinking straw. My husband has never choked using the straw---yet--- but be careful. Jan