therapy for Parkinson's disease - practical advice and aids for keeping
“I couldn’t get out
of the bath, so they gave me a seat to sit on in the bath. They also put
up rails to get up the stairs. It means I can now do it all by myself.”
disease (PD) makes it more difficult to carry out self-care (dressing,
washing, eating, bathing, toileting) and causes difficulties with everyday
activities around and outside the house (housework, shopping) and at work
therapy (OT) aims to help people with PD to maintain as high a level of
independence for as long as possible.
occupational therapist will be able to advise on how to adapt the home
environment to make it as safe and convenient as possible. They can also
suggest to patients and their families how best to approach and carry out
daily activities in a safe and efficient way. This helps to keep
the person with PD as independent as possible and reduces frustration.
also advise on and provide specialist equipment and adaptations that may
help with everyday tasks and with getting around. They also teach people
how best to make use of them.
with PD may benefit from simple modifications to everyday items (e.g.
replacing buttons and zips in clothes with Velcro, using satin sheets or
nightclothes to help people move in bed, elastic shoelaces, bath seats and
non-slip mats etc.).
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equipment for people with PD may include simple aids such as modified
cutlery for eating, two-handled cup for drinking, long-handled combs and
brushes, an electric toothbrush and cordless razor, dressing aids, and
raised chairs and toilet seat to help get up and down. A personal
computer with speech-activated software can avoid problems with
may be made easier by fitting grab rails to hold on to when moving
around, advising on building ramps instead of steps, or provision of a
stair lift. OT can also advise on suitable walking aids and
wheelchairs, or on appropriate modifications to cars.
A referral to an occupational therapist may be
arranged through your family doctor, social worker, or specialist doctor
The UK Parkinson’s Disease Society
(telephone +44 (0)20 7931 8080;
publishes leaflets on occupational therapy and on advice on clothing and
footwear. A booklet (‘Living with Parkinson’s disease’ ) is also
Useful websites include
Directory of Independent living products and
services for disabled people and their families in the UK
Disability information directory
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