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Hospital Checklists 

Before You Go

Before you have surgery or undergo any procedure, here's what you should do:

  • Notify your health care team: Contact your Parkinson's doctor and let him or her know about your scheduled hospital visit. Ask your Parkinson's doctor to contact the specialist or surgeon who is performing the procedure prior to your scheduled hospital stay to share pertinent information about Parkinson's disease and any other medical conditions.

  • Share important information: Schedule a meeting with your surgeon or specialist prior to your hospital visit and take time to review your Parkinson's symptoms and medications as well as any other conditions you may have. Ask your doctor to make copies of your "Medication Form." Discuss the medications that are not safe for people with Parkinson's disease.

    • If you are ordered to stop taking certain drugs before surgery, find out exactly when you can resume taking them.​

    • Provide the name and number of your Parkinson's doctor, and request that the surgeon or specialist contact them.

  • Ask these questions before surgery or any major treatment or procedure: 

    • Are my medications stocked in the hospital pharmacy? If not, will you allow me to bring my medications into the hospital?​

    • Will I require anesthesia for my procedure? If so, ask your surgical team to consult with your Parkinson's doctor. Many people with Parkinson's have serious complications from anesthesia, and it is important that these conversations take place prior to the procedure taking place.

    • What if I can't swallow my medications after surgery? Make sure any changes are discussed with your Parkinson's doctor and your surgeon/specialist prior to surgery or other procedures.

    • Will physical therapy be a part of my recovery? If so, ask if there is a physical therapist with experience working with people with PD or other movement disorders.

  • Prepare your medications: Before you leave for the hospital, gather enough of all your medications to last for at least two-three days, or however long you anticipate being hospitalized. They should be stored in their original bottles and clearly labeled with your name and the dosing schedule.

While Your There

  • Give the nurse your Fact Sheet: Having copies of nurse fact sheets available and printed out to hand off to all new nurses helps to put the information they need to know about PD in their hands right then and there. This is true of any medical personnel.

  • Request a consultation with the hospital's neurologist: Provide the neurologist with a copy of your "Medication Form" and discuss your medical condition with him or her. Make sure the neurologist is consulted on all medication and treatment decisions during your entire hospital visit even if you are hospitalized for non-neurological reasons.

  • Discuss your medication schedule: As soon as you're admitted, set up a visit with the nurse overseeing your care. Explain why it is critical for you to get your medications on time, every time. Be prepared to remind staff when your drugs are due.

  • Ask about medication management: Each hospital has a different policy on drug administration. If the hospital pharmacy doesn't stock your prescription medications, ask if you can supply your own.

  • Introduce yourself: When you meet a new member of your care team, introduce yourself and make sure they know you have PD. Remember to say this even if the reason you are hospitalized is unrelated to PD. Ask questions before taking any medications. Before accepting any new medications, review the safe/unsafe medications list. Never be afraid to ask questions or to share the list of unsafe medications with the nurses and doctors in the hospital.

  • Get an explanation: If a staff member will not allow you the chance to provide important information about your medication timing or symptoms, request that the medical staff contact your neurologist or personal physician.

  • Request physical therapy evaluation and treatment: Soon after your medical procedure, it is vital that you get out of bed and start moving, if possible. Ask the doctor who is treating you to recommend physical, occupational, or speech therapy depending on your symptoms and needs.

  • Call for help:  If you feel confused or your loved ones notice changes in your behavior, share this information with your doctor and nurse. Make sure your health care team knows that confusion and disorientation are commonly caused by multiple drugs, and that these effects are more common in people with Parkinson's.

Checklist for an Emergency Situation

Before an emergency can happen, here is what you do to prepare:

  • Devise an emergency plan: Gather your care partner and close family and friends and draft an emergency plan. Go over key procedures such as how to gather items for the hospital and where you store all PD medications. Make sure everyone knows who will accompany you to the hospital.

  • Notify your Parkinson's Doctor. Ask him or her to contact the medical staff in the ER as soon as possible to help coordinate your care.

  • Have someone stay with you in the ER/Hospital: Your care partner, a family member, or friend can make a critical difference during a medical emergency by relaying important information about your Parkinson's symptoms and medication schedule. If you are able, tell the ER staff that you have PD, and provide them with a copy of your Medication Form. This is important to do even if you are in the ER for a condition unrelated to Parkinson's.

  • Print pages from this website: Print and have extra copies of the information on this website to share with your medical care team. Or, print the PAA Nurse Fact Sheet to hand to your medical teams for educating them on Parkinson's - all found below.

Aware in Care Kit

The Parkinson's Foundation provides an Aware in Care Kit for $8 that can be ordered from the website at, or by calling 1.800.4PD.INFO (473.4636). Each kit includes tools and information to ensure that you get your medication on time, every time and that you aren't given medications that make your PD symptoms worse. It includes a Hospital Action Plan pamphlet, Medical Alert Card and Bracelet, and Magnet that can be placed visibly in your room or on a nurse's cart as a reminder about medication timeliness. Tear off sheets are also available where you can provide your medical team with facts about PD, including critical clinical care considerations for medication, DBS, and Duopa Therapies.

Disclaimer:  At PAA, our desire is to be a GO TO Resource for everything you need for the Parkinson's diagnosis to live a quality life with PD. We want to make sure you have all resources you need as you plan your journey with Parkinson's now and into the future so that you can reflect and discern what decisions you want to make with the appropriate insights to help you choose and build a plan that is unique as your journey. The PAA, nor the contents on this website, should never be a replacement for professional expertise and guidance from medical, legal, or financial professionals. Our goal is to equip you for those conversations. As such, the PAA cannot be held accountable for your choices and outcomes while navigating your Parkinson's condition.


Parkinson's Foundation. Hospital action Plan. Aware in Care.

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