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Hospital Visits

Parkinson’s is not a condition commonly associated with needing to be hospitalised. However, people with Parkinson’s may need to be admitted to hospital at some point, whether it is in relation to their condition or for another medical reason.

Despite Parkinson’s being a common condition, there can be a lack of understanding about Parkinson’s amongst hospital staff. The difficulties encountered by people with Parkinson’s who are admitted to hospital are varied. A number of challenges including managing medications and understanding Parkinson’s are described below with recommended strategies to ensure a hospital visit can be managed well.


Managing medications

One of the most common problems experienced by people with Parkinson’s in hospital is not getting medications on time. Effective management of Parkinson’s symptoms is dependent on getting medications on time, every time.

Useful tips

To ensure medications are administered on time, every time consider the following recommendations:

  • Advise the doctor and nursing staff on admission of your medication times
  • Inform staff about your ‘on’ and ‘off’ periods, and when these commonly occur
  • Ask hospital staff if self-administration is possible
  • If self-administration is not possible, speak to nursing staff about alternative options for getting medications on time
  • If you are using your own supply of medications, make sure you have enough to last the length of your stay
  • Inform hospital staff about how you manage your medications at home
  • Use pill timers as you would at home
  • Have patience with the hospital staff and remember that there may be occasions when they are busy and unable to administer medications on time
  • Contact Parkinson’s Victoria to receive a Hospital Kit, which contains resources for you and the hospital staff to help prepare for a hospital admission

It is also worth making yourself aware of the medications to be used with caution in Parkinson’s. Some medications can worsen Parkinson’s symptoms and can interact negatively with your Parkinson’s medications. 

Support for you

Understanding Parkinson’s

In hospital environments there can also sometimes be a lack of awareness regarding Parkinson’s symptoms. As everyone experiences Parkinson’s differently, it is understandable that some staff struggle to understand the condition and the wide variety of symptoms.

Useful tips

To assist hospital staff to have a better understanding of the condition and how it affects you, consider the following recommendations:

  • Provide staff with information about the condition
  • Inform staff during your assessment of the symptoms and challenges that you experience most commonly
  • Inform staff about how you manage your symptoms at home
  • Inform staff about your ‘on’ and ‘off’ periods, and when these commonly occur

Informing staff about how Parkinson’s affects you individually will help them to provide the best possible care. Keep in mind that you may need to tell your story several times to different members of the hospital staff.

Support for you

  • Contact the Parkinson's Victoria Information Line to request a copy of the  Parkinson's Victoria Hospital Kit
  • Call Parkinson’s Victoria’s Health Team  on 1800 644 189
  • Email:  info@parkinsons-vic.org.au

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