Simple Solutions That Make Living with Parkinson’s a Little Easier

Mary Beth Skylis avatar

by Mary Beth Skylis |

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Parkinson’s disease introduces challenges into your daily life. Tasks that were once second nature become more complicated when you’re managing symptoms like tremors and dyskinesia. Fortunately, product designers are coming up with simple, adaptive solutions that can make living with Parkinson’s a little easier.

Introducing some adaptive products into your routines might help you to bring autonomy back into your life. I’ve compiled a list of products that were developed to make everyday chores easier for people who struggle with tremors and other symptoms. While my dad, who has Parkinson’s, hasn’t used any of these products yet, some might be helpful for him when he completes his daily tasks.

Keeping meals simple

Liftware products are designed for those with tremors and limited hand and arm mobility. The brand has two main products. One is the Liftware Steady, which is specifically for those with tremors. The electronic handle keeps the attachable fork or spoon steady, allowing the user to enjoy their meals with confidence.

A starter kit costs $195, but the expense might be worth it for the independence that it gives.

Dad loves chicken soup, but tremors make eating it increasingly difficult. The Liftware spoon could provide him with a solution.

Avoiding spills

In a TED Talk, Mileha Soneji shared her mission to find simple solutions that make a significant impact. Inspired by the challenges faced by an uncle who has Parkinson’s disease, she invented the NoSpill Cup. The cup is not yet available, but it is expected to retail for $20.

While spill-proof cups aren’t new inventions, previous designs were created mainly for children. It can be disheartening for someone who has lived an independent life to have to use a product that makes them feel like a child. But the NoSpill Cup aims to give them back their independence.

Similarly, the Kangaroo Cup minimizes spilling while you’re attempting to pick up your drink. Another product, the HandSteady mug, has a rotating handle to make pivoting the cup toward your mouth easier. It’s ideal for someone who struggles with wrist mobility.

Fixtures for your home

Touch lights can be turned on by tapping. Rather than fumbling with a switch in the dark, you merely push the dome of the light to turn it on.

The light costs $12.99 and comes with a timer that you can set to turn off after either one or five minutes.

Luckily, my mom is around to help my dad with awkward light switches. But using a touch light could help him to maintain some independence.

Help with dressing

When Bob Scott became frustrated with his reduced shoulder mobility while dressing, he came up with a solution. His invention — named “Bob’s Flunkey” — is a piece of string attached to a bulldog clip and fastened to a door. It can be clipped to a jacket, for example, allowing the wearer to dress with ease.

As your mobility diminishes, you might find dressing to be increasingly difficult. Bob’s invention is an example of how simple adaptations can make daily tasks easier.

Whether Dad is preparing for his boxing class or getting ready to attend church, a simple solution like Bob’s can help to relieve some of his frustrations with dressing.

Do you have any products or routines that make life easier? Please share in the comments below. 

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Comments

JulianH avatar

JulianH

I wear Magna-Click shirts that use magnets instead of buttons. Men's Wearhouse has them for about half-price. They are also relatively stylish.

A white-board on the wall next to my desk helps me plan out my day's activities and plan out my Sinemet dosing schedule.

I have an Amazon Echo (Alexa) voice assistant that lets me control some of my lights and my HVAC thermostat, as well as giving me the weather, news and music. It also provides an intercom and a loud callerID.

Reply
Shirley Cypher avatar

Shirley Cypher

My husband takes several small pills 4 times a day. Like many he has trouble picking them up and of course drops them. I now put them in empty capsules you can get at health food stores or on amazon. One of them I cut in half to fit the capsule. Morning pills I am able to put 4 pills in one 00 capsule. Makes it so much easier Mornings he currently takes 8 pills which includes suppliments. I use The Capsule Machine from Capsule Connection.com to do 24 capsules (6 days) at a time.

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Kim avatar

Kim

My husband requests food to be not too small so he can manage to eat with his hands if need be he does not struggle so much with tremors but with dexterity so I keep everything bite size and he drinks with a straw. We also use the magnet buttons and pull in trousers and also slip in shoes with a large shoe horn ...

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Dave Sales avatar

Dave Sales

I have found brightly coloured silicone straws softer and more pleasant to use. They are also a larger diameter so drinking doesn’t take so long. They are approx 25 cms long and can be shortened.....from the local ‘Plastics Warehouse’.

Reply
ANEETA PATEL avatar

ANEETA PATEL

Has anybody explored about wearing a bra with parkinsons.
I have tried hard with the front clasp but end up going to back clasp bras as hard to hold in order to clasp
Any suggestions?

Reply
foreverspirit avatar

foreverspirit

Maybe wearing stick-on silicon bra, they may not support them as well as conventional bra but it beats wearing sports bra because more flexibility is needed.

Reply
cam ziminski avatar

cam ziminski

It helps to keep a spiral notebook by the phone to record phone numbers, calls made and received, messages and other info that may be forgotten or misplaced. Over time it gets filled up and can be used for reference in the future.

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