Living with Parkinson’s may make your everyday duties more frustrating, but it has also awoken a world of creativity within the community, people all over the world coming up with brand new solutions to better face these challenges. Sometimes, these fixes can cost a little bit of money, and other times they cost nothing whatsoever, but by clicking around the internet and having a conversation with your physical therapist, you can explore and discover new and exciting ways to reduce your symptoms' interruptions to your life. Here are some of the best tips to get you moving.
Parkinson's definitely does not make kitchen life any easier, but with a few tiny tweaks to your approaches and utensils, you can still find much enjoyment in the art of cooking. To avoid mess, favour baking over frying, place food on tinfoil when grilling, wrap cling film around anything your microwave, and always pour fine goods (like sugar or flour) over the sink in case they spill.
When it comes to eating itself, try and stick to foods which you can pick up with your hands. You can even use your condition as an excuse to snack on healthier foods, such as fruit and fresh vegetables. However, if using utensils is inescapable, consider purchasing cutlery with ribbed handles or using liquid rubber to stick onto the sets you already own. There are also various specially-designed forks, knives, and spoons just for people with Parkinson's, which are definitely worth looking at.
If you have a bit of money, you may want to consider installing touch faucets around the house rather than struggling to turn clunky taps just to get water. You should also invest in a sonic toothbrush which will do all the necessary scrubbing motions for you, and look out for products (like toothpaste or shampoos) that can be simply popped open, without the unnecessary twist tops.
Another simple yet often overlooked technique, is to sit down when you do anything! Whether cleaning your face or brushing your teeth or shaving, standing up will only further complicate the task by testing your balance and your hand accuracy at the same time, which is not the most practical way to get it done! Take a seat, take it easy, and take your time.
Of course, the less complicated the mechanisms are, the better, which is why many people affected with Parkinson's have traded their standard front door lock and key system with a coded keypad to get into their house. In a similar vein, touch lights illuminate the room without even needing to think about the location of their switch, which is so useful, it's surprising that every home is not fitted with them already.
When it comes to phones and devices, enlarged icons are obviously a bonus, but in difficult times, their voice recognition features could be the blessing you are looking for. Granted, it will be annoying at first as it misinterprets your every second word, but as you learn to practice speaking with clarity, it will quickly become a much easier solution over standard texting.
Thankfully, these days so many fashion designers have dedicated their talents to the world of Parkinson's that no one has to struggle just to feel confident and stylish anymore. Look out for clothing which opens from the front, and always choose Velcro options over zippers. There are even some sneaky shirts and dresses that have buttons on the outside but close using magnets, your own little secret between you and your clothing. If you have been known to occasionally spill food on yourself, pick clothing which bursts with colors and patterns to disguise any misfortunate mishaps.
When it comes to footwear, the easier you can slip them on and off, the better, and ensure you select a pair with a slight curve in them to avoid trips and falls.
By continuously challenging yourself with small, achievable goals, you can improve your balance whilst combating your symptoms. Take the stairs if you can, walk around the house as much as possible, dance when the mood strikes you, and take a quick nap when you've had enough. When it comes to small tasks like brushing your teeth or combing your hair, purposefully use your least able hand to see how far you can push it.
Just remember: set clear intentions, take small steps, and focus on one job at a time. However, if you eventually need to consider a wheelchair or any other form of mobility equipment, always test every available option before making the purchase, because your comfort and happiness is the main priority in dealing with this matter. Never forget to look out for number 1. You.