Parkinson’s disease poses daily challenges but some adjustments can help patients to better manage their disease and maintain their quality of life.

Aids and adaptations

Patients with Parkinson’s disease can benefit from various aids and adaptations that can help increase their independence and improve their quality of life. A professional therapist can assess the needs of patients and help them in selecting the relevant aids or equipment.

Various kinds of aids can assist patients with mobility, such as grab rails, handrails, walking frames, walkers, and manual wheelchairs. Adaptations for the bathroom include shower grab rails, shower seats, slip-resistant flooring, and raised toilet seats.

In the bedroom, patients can use grab rails, bed raisers, mattress raisers, mobile hoists, bars, ropes, and satin bedding.

Equipment that may help in eating and drinking include specially designed (easy-to-grip) cutlery, curved-handle knives, plate guards, sip cups, non-slip mats, and kettle tippers.

Diet and nutrition

Patients with Parkinson’s disease are encouraged to maintain a balanced, healthy diet which can help to ease some of their symptoms and optimize the effects of their medications.

A healthy diet includes a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products, and protein-rich foods. Other nutrient-rich foods include eggs, fish, nuts, and olive oil. Fiber-rich foods and adequate water intake are important to avoid constipation. Calcium and vitamin D supplements may help with reduced bone density, but consult a doctor before taking any vitamins and supplements.

Patients are advised to avoid foods containing high amounts of sugar, saturated fats, or cholesterol.

Exercise

Regular exercise can benefit Parkinson’s disease patients not only with their mental health (by reducing stress and anxiety) but also with maintaining and improving their mobility, balance, coordination, and ability to perform daily activities. In fact, many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be alleviated through physical activity.

Recommended exercises include stretching, aerobics, and resistance or strengthening exercises. A physiotherapist can provide the most suitable exercise regimen based on the patient’s symptoms and abilities.

Parkinson’s diary

Patients with Parkinson’s disease or their caregivers can maintain a Parkinson’s diary, in which they write down the problems experienced in daily activities, the progression and severity of symptoms, response to medications, and any emotional or behavioral changes. The diary can help the patient’s physician to better understand and effectively monitor how the disease progresses over time. The information in the diary could be organized in different formats such as, for example, a 24-hour motor diary based on response to medications.

 

Last updated: Feb. 19, 2020

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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 other 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.