20 Tips for Living with Parkinson’s and Other Movement Disorders

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If you are living with Parkinson’s, there are many steps you can take to help you live life to the fullest. Here are 20 tips from the University of Cincinnati Parkinson Support & Wellness on everyday living – many of these are also useful ideas for people living with other movement disorders, disabilities or mobility issues:

  1. Add railings to each side of a stairway to make going up and down safer and easier.
  2. If you have trouble getting out of bed, tie a sheet to a bed post and knot the other end, so you can grasp the sheet to rise to a sitting position.
  3. Use an elevated toilet seat or safety rails to assist in standing from a low surface.
  4. Install a grab bar, shower, chair, and/or hand held spray in the shower for assistance.
  5. Use soap-on-a-rope, bath mitts or sponges with soap rather than a bar of soap.
  6. Place a non-skid rug outside the tub or shower so you don’t slip.
  7. Use a terry cloth robe to help dry off after bathing.
  8. Sit down when putting on your shoes, socks, pants and shirt.
  9. Choose clothing with fastenings like simple, large buttons.
  10. Wear easy-on clothing like elastic-waist pants and slip on shoes.
  11. Wear shoes with support, balance and comfort. Low wide heels, wide toe box, and velcro or laces are helpful.
  12. Use a long-handle shoe-horn to put on your shoes.
  13. Use a zipper pull to aid in zipping up coats.
  14. Rain pouches are easy to store and carry and cover you well in a downpour.
  15. Be careful wearing sandals or flip flops! Shoes without backs are easier to slip out of. Look for sturdy hiking-type sandals, which have more support.
  16. Layer clothing so it is easier to take off a layer to cool down or add a layer to warm up.
  17. Wear a fanny pack or backpack to keep your hands free.
  18. Use a “book butler” to hold your book or magazine while reading.
  19. Use the speaker on your cell phone or a telephone headset when trying to talk on the phone with tremors.
  20. Use your cell phone to make contact within your home easier – it’s okay to text someone who is upstairs!

Dave Dorsey, a man living with Parkinson’s, offered this comment on michaeljfox.org: “Sharing my story is therapeutic; I only hope others might benefit from my experience. Parkinson’s is debilitating, but for me, it also has inspired solid friendships and even acts of heroism.”

At Assisting Hands Columbus, we are inspired by our clients living with Parkinson’s. If you or someone you love needs extra help or respite care, we are here to serve you. Our well-qualified home care professionals understand that you are not your disease. Give us a call and let’s see how we can help you live life to the fullest.