Parkinson’s symptoms include tremor, stiffness, slow movement, and balance problems. These symptoms worsen over time making it difficult to perform your daily routine. Here are some tips for Parkinson’s that can help make walking around and eating easier.
For those living with Parkinson’s Disease, some special rules apply when using a cane or walker. Here are some of the best practices for using these assistive walking aids correctly.
When using a cane:
- Use an adjustable cane with a comfortable handgrip.
- Hiking poles can also be useful and can promote better posture if adjusted correctly. Your forearms should be roughly horizontal or 90 degrees to your body.
- Don’t use a cane with three or four point bases. People living with PD often have trouble keeping all points on the floor.
- Avoid using a wooden cane if it is not sized correctly. The cane height should be as high as the break in your wrist when standing straight with arms at your side. Using an adjustable cane makes getting this just right an easy task .
When using a walker:
- Use a four-wheeled walker. Essential features are large swivel wheels and hand brakes. Walkers that come with a basket and a seat are most helpful.
- The standard walker is not recommended. People living with PD may lose balance when picking up the walker to move.
Parkinson’s can make the process of chewing and swallowing food difficult. This can turn what for most of us is a great experience into an unpleasurable activity or even a dangerous one for those with PD. Using these tips can help make eating easier and safer.
- Try and schedule meals around times when the medication is working best your “on-times”.
- Sit up as straight as possible during meals. Continue to sit up straight for an extended period after finishing your meal.
- If you have difficulty swallowing try using a straw with thin liquids. This helps control the volume of water entering your mouth.
- Cut up your food into very small pieces. Don’t try and force yourself to swallow the entire bite or sip. Swallow a few times per bite or sip to make swallowing easier.
- Use eating aids. Special utensils, plates, and cups can make eating easier and more enjoyable.