Apps Can Benefit People With Parkinson’s Disease
As a 31-year-old, I spend a lot of time on my phone, whether that means talking to my friends, researching something for work, or playing a mindless game.
I think about the difference I could make by spending more time improving my mind and working on my health instead of wasting my time on my phone. But many apps can actually be useful to people with disabilities, and several function to assist those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) with many of the day-to-day tasks we may struggle with.
If you are looking for an app that can help you exercise from home, the Parkinson Home Exercises app might be your thing. Created by the International Association of Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, it offers more than 50 instructional exercise videos to help patients with various functional challenges that can affect daily life. These exercises can help people with certain movements, such as walking or changing body position (rolling over in bed, for example), and improve overall physical coordination. The downside of this app is that it costs several dollars to download.
Other apps may help patients with speech impairments. Many of us tend to speak with a soft voice. The people around us may tell us to speak up, even if we feel like we are screaming.
This is where an app called Loud and Clear can help. It provides new voice exercises daily that vary in difficulty. Users can track their progress over time to measure their improvement and share results with caregivers or doctors. The app is free to download but offers in-app purchases.
Finally, when I go to the doctor, I usually forget exactly what’s going on in my daily life. I become so accustomed to life with PD that I’m not always able to find patterns. An app like Parkinson’s Disease Diary can be an easy way to record what happens each day.
This app includes seven different topics: medication, symptoms, weather, activity, sleep, mealtimes, and brain games. The patient can fill in each topic daily to better understand patterns over time and share the information with their doctors. It is free to download.
This is just a sample of the many different apps available for Parkinson’s patients. Others function as medication managers, symptom trackers, and virtual support groups.
I believe that as more younger people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, apps will become more popular. While writing this column, I spent hours exploring various apps. What scares me is the cost. Parkinson’s is not a cheap disease to live with, and any money we spend on an app could be going toward treatments instead.
I hope this list inspires you to explore apps that help you in your journey to “Embrace the Shake.”
Do you use any apps to help you manage Parkinson’s? Please share in the comments below.
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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.