Parkinson’s Disease

Phyllis is a 79-year-old female who resides in an assisted living facility. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) approximately 20 years ago, and as her disease progressed, she required more assistance, resulting in a move from her daughter’s home with family assistance to an assisted living facility. Before the onset of PD, Phyllis worked as an art and theater instructor at a local college. She was often involved in creating props for theatrical events, instructing students in role play, and leading musical arrangements. According to her daughter, Phyllis always prided herself on her social and acting skills; however, because of the changes in her physical status with the disease progression and the change in her environment, she has had to modify her favorite activities. At this time, Phyllis’ favorite hobbies at the facility include spending time in the gardens, joining the chorus club, and attending meals with friends in the dining room.

Phyllis recently noticed a significant increase in right hand weakness and difficulty swallowing. Nursing staff also reported decreased safety with her power mobility device. Because of her increasing difficulties, Phyllis has had consultations for skilled occupational and speech therapy. An occupational therapist has completed her evaluation, and an OTA is scheduled to work with her in her next therapy session.

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While preparing for the session and reviewing her goals, one goal noted by the OTA is for Phyllis to address self-feeding. Phyllis is on a modified diet of mechanical solids and nectar-thick liquids.