As Parkinson’s disease is progressive, carrying out everyday activities can become harder as time goes on. The advances made with treatment and the support available for those living with Parkinson’s can allow people to continue having a near-normal life.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Eating healthily and regular exercise will always help to improve physical and mental health. Exercise helps to relieve tension in the muscles, preventing stiffness and improving mood.
Exercises can be of varying intensities, depending on the severity of someone’s symptoms. Less strenuous activities such as walking, gardening and yoga also contribute to being physically active, whilst work-out routines can range from chair-based exercises to more vigorous aerobics. The Parkinson’s UK website has a toolbox of workout routines and videos to match any ability – click here to find out more.
There is a variety of equipment that can be used in daily life to help support the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Grab rails and handrails can be installed into the home to allow people to move around easily without the fear of falling or slipping. An occupational therapist, social services or the Heritage Healthcare team can advise on the best equipment for living independently at home.
Walking sticks and frames support someone struggling with mobility around the house or when out in the community. There are various adaptions included on the sticks and frames that can support different symptoms, such as folding seats, laser canes that project a red laser beam on the group to cue when to step over the line, supporting those who experience freezing, and collapsible frames that can easily be transported.
When getting in and out of bed becomes difficult, bed raisers or a hoist may be the right piece of equipment to help someone start their day with ease. Satin sheets can help people to turn over in bed to get in a more comfortable potion when sleeping. Grab rails can be useful in the bathroom to help keep someone steady or converting a bath into a shower or wet room can provide more space for bathing.
A tremor can cause hands and arms to shake, making completing everyday tasks, such as preparing a meal, difficult. Specialist cutlery items are available to support meal and drink preparations, like an all-in-one knife and fork/fork and spoon, extra grip handles and self-levelling spoons. Plate guards can stop food from falling over the edge of a dish, non-slip mats to keep plates still and kettle tippers support the lifting of a kettle and reduce the risk of burns from hot water.
For individuals who live alone, a personal alarm can provide reassurance if anything were to happen to them at home. House monitors and intercoms can provide communication with someone if help is needed, whilst a community alarm system connects to a call centre and has two-way communication to ensure the individual is ok if they press the button; if there is no answer, the call operator can arrange assistance.
If you are a primary carer for someone living with Parkinson’s disease, support is always available for you. The Parkinson’s UK website has advice on various topics, from how to talk to family members about Parkinson’s to receiving support whilst working. Click here to find out more.
At Heritage Healthcare, our care team can provide expert care within the home to support people living with Parkinson’s disease. To find out more about our services, please click here, or you can find your nearest Heritage Healthcare office by clicking here.