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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 or respite care at some point, whether in relation to their condition or for another medical reason.

Unfortunately, there can be a lack of understanding about Parkinson’s amongst hospital and respite care staff. 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 their Parkinson's medications on time, which is vital for effective treatment of symptoms.

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 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:

  • 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.

You may wish to download and use one or more of these documents to present on admission to hospital or respite care:

Essential information for hospital staff - use this document to provide an overview of Parkinson's for hospital staff

Caring for someone with Parkinson's - this document expands on information about Parkinson's and can used for longer stays in hospital and respite care

Hospital checklist - a checklist for covering Parkinson's related issues hospital and respite care staff need to be aware of

Medication form - use this form to list all your current medication and timings, including infusion therapy and DBS details.

Support for you

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

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