Adapting to a life with Parkinson's

The extent of your disability is related to how well adapted the environment is to your needs. This applies to everyone; for example, if your TV projected UV light it would be ill suited to the need we all have of seeing only in the visual part of the spectrum. Therefore, we all adapt our environment to our needs and buy TVs that generate visual light.

It is important to apply the way we adapt to everyday things to the challenges of Parkinson’s. I’ve made the following adaptations with the help of my Occupational Therapist:

Bathroom

I use an electric toothbrush.

I have a perching stool so I can sit and do my teeth.

I go to the barbers to have a shave.

I have a raised toilet seat to help me descend from my throne.

I use moist toilet paper to speed up wiping.

I have a bath chair so I can take rests when showering.

I use anti-dandruff shampoo to fight my dry skin.

Holding a sponge is challenging so I use a bath mitt.

Kitchen

I have a perching stool so I can sit and prepare meals.

I use a chopping board with a clamp to help me open bottles and jars.

When I can I buy ready-prepared and chopped vegetables and meat.

I use one-handed scissors.

I use light weight cutlery with big handles.

I wash up using rubber gloves with attached scrubbing pads.

Living room

I have my laptop on an adjustable table.

I find holding a book challenging so I use an eBook.

Clothes

I use slip on shoes.

Any more suggestions?

Adaptation is a delicate balance between challenging yourself and doing things with a little help. It isn't about doing nothing; its about enabling you to do something you otherwise wouldn't do or making that something easier. For example, every time I leave my flat I could spend 10 minutes tying my shoe laces or use slip on shoes and put the time and energy saved to a better purpose. The adaptation of using slip on shoes doesn't cause me to stay in my flat, it makes it easier to go out.

My aim is to save as much energy as possible to do what I want to alongside my Parkinson's.

dr jonny

dialoguewithdisability.blogspot.co.uk

15 Replies

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  • HI DR JONNY

    I AGREE WITH U -U NEED OT ADAPT WHEREVER YOU CAN OT MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR YHOURSLEF

    YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE GREAT

    LOL jiLL

    :-)

  • I've taken a few trips lately, sleeping in new to me floor plans. I have learned to take plug in night llghts so I can see when I get up in the night. Makes all the difference.

  • I agree...conserving energy in order to enjoy a better quality of life with Parkinson's is what it's all about. Have used plug in lights too but even better are the battery powered ones you can carry round in your dressing gown pocket....particularly useful when you don't want to wake the house in the early hours ( always up between 6am and 6.30 am) not a habit of a lifetime, I can tell you!

  • It's all about adapting and how creative

    You can get . Iam still working full time it .takes me aprox. 3 hrs just for the markup and hair.

    Sometimes I just think iam nuts. Not

    To mention the buttons, pantyhose, that's a good one if you every did acrobatics it

    Helps. I try prep things the night before its not easy,

    No one ever said it was going to be easy or fair.

    Lolitalola, always moving forward

    Never look back.

    An

  • life with pd is not easy but you all just made it a little easier . THANKS

  • Making PD works is a much better way than wasted energy on the "WHY"S and HOW COME ME'S!! Good job, thanks for posting Kadie

  • I agree It's great to look to the positives and try not to waste energy worrying over what we cannot do easily but enjoy what we can do.

    Some of my favourite aids are:

    - a long handled shoe horn ( I always carry a small shoe horn in my handbag when shopping as i

    am constantly looking for comfortable shoes)

    - a small square scrubbing brush (main use for potatoes) that attaches to middle finger

    - rectangular lightweight metal oven pans with side handles ( from IKea) to place other cookware

    on when in oven ( I find that many dishes and casseroles can easily slip from my grasp when hot

    and taking from oven)

    - my i phone - so much easier to text - it helps to put it in a slip resistant holder

    thanks for posting

    Lesley

  • What is a perching stool and where can you get one?

  • It's a bar stool with a slanted seat. I got mine from my Occupational therapist

    dr jonny

  • It makes a difference if you have tremor or gait impaired stiffness. I have the latter and have had to make different adjustments I'm more punctual because I cannot afford to miss my AccessARide. i always used to be late for everything rushing from one thing to another. Now I make haste slowly :D

  • Hi all, I'd like to suggest an item that has helped me in the kitchen & has probably saved a few trips to the emergency room for cut fingers. I am not good at chopping & dicing veggies so purchased a "Genius Nicer Dicer Plus 10 piece multi-chopper" from QVC, it's item # K32702 & is currently priced at $39.50. I even made scalloped potatoes from scratch, using it to slice my potatoes in no time at all & I never even made them from scratch before PD.....now if it only peeled the potatoes! Next on my list, also from QVC is the "Prep N' Pop Vegetable Helper" by Lori Grenier, item # H166077 & currently priced at $17.25. No, I do not work for QVC, it just happens to be on 24/7 & I don't sleep at night. I am really trying to avoid alot of prepared foods, like I used to rely on to get dinner on the table by 9pm.

  • Hi drjonny,

    Could you please explain further your first paragraph about light? I have some odd light, or I should say darkness issues & always thought it was just me. I have always been petrified of the dark & have no night vision whatsoever, even before PD, however it has become worse lately. For some reason, the darkness now makes me very dizzy, like my head is spinning. I now have battery operated candles throughout the house that come on & turn off automatically....love them. I must have some light in my bedroom to go to sleep & have the tv on... darkness & quiet is a very scary place, probably because it puts me alone with my thoughts.

  • I don't have Parkinsons, but my husband does. I just wish he had 1/100th of th enthusiasm as you all do. He is defeated everday, every breath and I don't know why. So happy when I see all you guys working it out and finding new answers every day that you share with others

  • I am a caregiver for my Husband, who also has Parkinsons. He is the same way, very defeated & difficult to find a new way, to do things. I read all the blogs & try to give him suggestions, what works for others. Thanks for sharing ideas. My Husband has a difficult time with sleep & staying in bed. Last Night was one of his better nights, when I made him, leave his TV off all night, so he slept. Dr. appts next month, maybe we can find a new Neurologist, closer to Home, to help Us. He is on Meds & does his Therapy daily, which helps during the daytime hours, it's night time he dreads. He is only in his mid 60's, but acts much older. Each Night is an adventure !! Take Care !!

  • GJ, I feel for you and for your husband. His amputation and the after-effects of his shoulder surgeries must add to his pain and the fatigue. Then too, you must remember that those who respond so cheerfully have their bad days too.

    I hope you find the answers you seek.

    Bless you

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