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Hope for Parkinson’s

Elder Care Bonita FL

Elder Care Bonita FLIn March of 2016, the Federal Drug Administration approved a new antipsychotic drug for Parkinson’s disease—Nuplazid. Nuplazid is being used to treat some of the more trying symptoms of this disease: hallucinations, illusions and delusions. About 50 percent of those that suffer from Parkinson’s are affected by these psychotic symptoms.

A trial study produced some dramatic results. According to Dr. Cummings, a neurologist, families reported that “this really made a difference for his life and our lives together” in reference to their loved one receiving this medication during the study. One hundred and ninety-nine Parkinson’s patients were included in this study that gave half of them Nuplazid and the other half a placebo. Thirty-seven percent of those taking the drug showed improvement as compared to 14 percent of those taking the placebo.

Though hallucinations are not physically damaging, they can leave those experiencing them frightened and disturbed. These delusions tend to grow worse as the disease progresses. Presently, there is a catch-22 as the drugs used to help control the tremors of Parkinson’s are partially the underlying cause of the hallucinations. These drugs increase the dopamine in the brain which then triggers hallucinations. This balancing act is treated different ways depending on the doctor and the family’s perspective. If the hallucinations are not causing significant issues, many will postpone treatment. Others feel that with the probable worsening of the psychotic episodes, treatment, by reducing certain medications and introducing others, should be implemented.

While this drug will certainly not be for every person with Parkinson’s, it does offer hope for those with severe hallucinations. Even more notable, it suggests that continued medical research will bring insight and solutions to this debilitating disease.

Help with Hallucinations

If your elder loved one is experiencing a hallucination that scares them, the best thing you can do for them is to be present. Let them know that you are there for them. Consider introducing another activity to possibly get their mind off the episode. Be sure to limit background noise and get rid of any mirrors that may pose an increased risk for hallucinations. If episodes are increasing, let their elder health care provider know.

Help for You

This can be a trying time for both you and your parent. If you haven’t already, consider setting some time aside for yourself each week. If you are concerned for the welfare of your parent, know that elder care providers have cared for hundreds of elderly with this same disease. They know both the symptoms and the possible solutions, and they can keep your loved one safe while you take the time you need to create a balanced, happy life.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Bonita FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale

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