What You Need to Know About Covid-19 & Parkinson's Disease

Protect yourself

  • Stay home
  • Let someone else shop for you
  • Wash and clean products
  • Try not to touch your face
  • Clean surfaces with Lysol or other products like Clorox
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water and sing Happy Birthday twice
  • Avoid stress, eat well and get plenty of sleep

Are people living with PD prone to lung issues?

Parkinson disease patients with difficulty swallowing may be at higher risk of respiratory issues including pneumonia. 

Is Parkinson’s disease in the compromised immune system category?

No, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is not an immune compromising disease, PD is a chronic disease associated with dopamine deficiency.

If a patient with Parkinson’s displays signs and symptoms of COVID-19 what should they do?

Take precautions and adhere to social distancing including keeping family members at a distance whenever possible.  Stay in your own room when able and use your own bathroom. Use your own cooking utensils, plates, knives, and forks.  Maintain good nutrition and keep hydrated.  Follow your temperature closely.  If your condition worsens, contact the hospital and ER for instructions before going (Protocol for new ER patient admission varies hospital to hospital and varies with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines)

What should you bring to the ER?

  • List of medications indicating dosages and times
  • All current medications
  • Medical history

When you arrive at the ER

  • Inform them you have Parkinson’s disease
  • Inform them if you have an immune-compromised condition such as cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  • If you are currently on other medications as well as your Parkinson’s medications as there may be interactions, disclose if you are taking steroids, or receiving chemo, and/or radiation

If the caregiver cannot accompany you to the hospital, how equipped is the medical staff at managing Parkinson’s symptoms, medication, and disease treatment?

Although many hospitals have neurologists either on staff or affiliations, the management of PD may vary.  Your best protection is to have all information written down before an event happens and keep your medications along with records in one central place so that you have easy access in case of an emergency.

What can the caregivers do to help in this situation?

If a hospital visit takes place the caregiver should keep patients away from people and be prepared by having items including medication, copy of medication list, medicine dosage information, and medical history easily accessible.

For more tips from the “Keep Your Home Safe from COVID-19” webinar, please click here

For tips from the “Keep Your Home Safe from COVID-19” webinar with Wanda Jackson, please click here.