A hypothetical question about fall risk and Parkinsons
February 26, 2014 3:31 PM Subscribe
Does activity level during the day elevate the risk of a fall later in the day for a Parkinsons patient?
posted by vincele to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Daisy has Parkinsons. She is described by her doctor as an extremely high risk for falls. She is old.
Her devoted caretaker John says that Parkinsons patients are prone to fall in the course of certain actions-- bending or reaching, for example. A friend of theirs-- Jenny-- started a fall log. It reflects what John said.
Jenny noticed something else about the falls. Four of the last five late in the day, on days that Daisy had done a lot of activities (visits to the doctor or the mall and/or in-house physical therapy).
Jenny thinks the pattern of activity + falls is something that John should discuss with Daisy's doctor. She was disappointed that the physical therapist was a bit combative about and dismissive of the pattern. John and the physical therapist told Jenny that the nature of action alone is causes the fall. (Jenny privately wonders whether the therapist explaining to Daisy to importance of being safe is enough at this point.)
But, for all Jenny knows, they are right. Jenny is no expert and she can't do anything about Daisy's situation anyway.
Jenny just wants to know what you all think about the question of falls and Parkinsons? Is the physical therapist right to dismiss this pattern? Is heightened fall risk just one of those things that comes with the territory of a progressive disease and not something you'd bring up with the doctor?
Daisy is very well cared for by many health professionals, and Jenny has a great relationship with Daisy and John and doesn't need help there. This question is about the fall angle only-- what the doctor would want to know, what John and the physical therapist are saying, and Jenny's view.