We removed the family room furniture and set up his bed, bought a recliner chair and brought in whatever equipment he needed, including a walker and wheelchair (he never uses them), and an IV pole to hold the hiker's water bag he drinks from when he is in bed and unable to hold a cup. There is an armoire and a footlocker for his clothes. The TV is in a unit that goes across the whole wall opposite his bed. He is steps from the kitchen and eating area, as well as the bathroom.
Sometimes that area is too busy, like when he wants to sleep and people come in to the kitchen to cook, or to wash clothes in the adjacent laundry room. But nothing is perfect, he prefers to be in the front of the house rather than in his back bedroom.
If you are not familiar with Parkinsons, you can't imagine that someone can be functional one minute and totally unable to move the next. When he is functional he is able to get up and go where he wants. When he is symptomatic, he is too disabled for that. He is in bed, shaking and rigid, unable to speak or swallow, unable to communicate. He cannot possibly be social at these times, just needs someone there to make sure he is not in physical trouble.
The girls have their own rooms, TVs, computers, etc., and that's where they spend their time to relax. One is into making jewelry, another writes, and another is always outside gardening. They take care of Mike when there's something they need to do for him, they don't hang out with him, nor do they want to, they have their own things to do. When he is feeling OK, he doesn't need them either, he has things that he likes to do. But when he's symptomatic he doesn't want to be alone because he is helpless, so he calls on me. Unfortunately, he is symptomatic more hours of the day and night than not.
Mike and I have always enjoyed each other's company. After Bob died, we used to travel together, in fact he traveled with us to help when Bob was so sick. We have similar interests, i.e., baseball, country music, history, antiques, whether it be furniture, tools, or cars. He has a marvelous collection gathered from all over the country. He's mellow, and less emotional than the girls, much easier to be with.
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