Assistive Aids to Help You Live Well with Parkinson’s Disease
When you suffer from Parkinson’s Disease — yes, the same disease Michael J. Fox has — symptoms such as rigid muscles, shakiness, unsteadiness, slow movements, and reduced mobility could significantly impact your daily life and overall quality of life.
As your disease advances, it could make otherwise easy and routine tasks such as dressing up, bathing and eating into overwhelming chores. Fortunately, there are assistive aids you can use to help you perform these tasks easier, including the following:
Zipper pulls and buttonhooks can make dressing a breeze. Supportive and lightweight footwear with elastic laces or Velcro tabs is likewise easier to use. When walking around your home, opt for socks or home shoes with nonslip soles.
A nonskid placement under the plate will secure your plate as you eat, while a mug with an attached straw and lid will help prevent spills. Opt for utensils with angled or oversized handles.
Hallmark Parkinson’s Disease symptoms or side effects from medications could cause writhing, twisting, and trembling movements that in turn, could make kitchen tasks dangerous. To be on the safe side, opt for electric scissors, peelers, and can openers. Additionally, a rocker knife, which has rounded blades, could help make cutting so much safer.
These tools can make your bathroom more accessible and safer to use. Basic tools include nonskid mats, grab bars, a portable bathtub, and a shower chair. If you’re having a difficult time grooming yourself, opt for an electric razor, electric toothbrush, or a mounted hairdryer.
A basic blanket support, which is a frame that keeps the blanket’s weight off the feet, can make you move more freely as you sleep. A bed assist rail or handle that you can mount on your bedside can also make sitting up and getting out of bed easier. Consider motion-activated lights as well to avoid accidents due to the dark.
If you’re finding it harder and harder to use a mouse or type on a standard keyboard, opt for a keyboard with bigger keys. You can likewise try typing with a keyboard, which is basically a plastic cover with holes for isolating keys. Additionally, you can opt for a trackball, joystick, or touchpad instead of a mouse.
Pen grips, which are foam or rubber cylinders that fit over a pencil or pen, can help relax your hand while writing. Likewise, opt for a ballpoint pen because it’s easier to use than roller ball or felt-tip pens.
As your disease advances, you’ll find your balance and gait compromised. A regular cane or wheeled walker can help you move around easily and safely. Likewise, if you’re prone to freezing while walking, a laser walker or cane can illuminate your path and help you get back to walking.
A huge part of living well with Parkinson’s Disease is figuring out the best assistive aids to help you live independently for as long as you can. So be on the lookout for various assistive devices that can help you navigate daily life easily and safely, especially as your symptoms, and consequently, your needs change.