Parkinson’s affects many aspects of an individual’s daily life. However, with careful and smart planning, the effects of the neuromuscular disorder can become much less stressful and intrusive. There are a number of devices that can help you remain safe and mobile.
Since maintaining independence is important for physical as well as mental wellbeing in Parkinson’s, below mentioned equipment and adaptive products can help you do everyday tasks with much more ease.
1 . Canes
Parkinson’s often leads to a shuffling gait and impaired balance. A cane is the most basic mobility aid if you are dealing with the balance issue. If you freeze up while walking, a laser cane can beam a line across your path. This visual cue will help you break freezing episodes.
2 . Walkers/Rollators
Walkers are needed if a cane or crutches do not provide enough support. The terms rollator and walker are typically used interchangeably. However, a rollator is actually a type of walker that includes a seat, wheels, and hand brakes. Walkers (for both indoor and outdoor use) and rollators are available in various models to help you remain as active as possible.
3 . Manual Wheelchairs
Manual Wheelchairs can assist Parkinson’s fighters with a more significant loss of mobility. The selection of a particular wheelchair depends on how often you intend to use the wheelchair or whether the chair will be used indoors or outdoors.
Some people choose to have more than one wheelchair so that they can keep them on different floors of their home or inside and outside. Some of the options available are:
- Lightweight, adjustable wheelchairs
- Tilting Wheelchairs
- Titanium Wheelchairs
- Bariatric Wheelchairs
- Specialty Power Assist
4 . Transport Chairs
Transport chairs are smaller, lighter versions of manual wheelchairs. They are easier to fold and easier to load into a vehicle.
5 . Grab Bars
Grab bars are essential for Parkinson’s fighters with balance and strength issues. Approximately 50% of all accidents at home happen in the bathroom. Hence, bath safety is an essential part of making sure that you do not have an unnecessary fall. Grab bars, in combination with bath seats and handheld showers, allow you to sit down comfortably while bathing.
Often seen in bathrooms, Grab bars can be installed anywhere for assistance. It might be important to have a solid handhold available.
6 . Lift Chairs
The main function of a lift chair is to assist you in standing from a seated position. As the disorder progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult and painful to stand once seated. Lift chairs are designed with a simple push of a button to raise the user to a point where standing is no longer difficult and painful. These chairs are designed to look like a recliner and come in a variety of fabrics and styles.
7 . Commodes
Commodes (with or without wheels) can be helpful for those Parkinson’s fighters who are not able to stand for long periods of time. Commodes without wheels are typically used at the bedside while wheeled models can be rolled over a toilet.
Note: Since Parkinson’s affects everyone differently, what suits one Parkinson’s fighter may not suit another. Hence, standard recommendations cannot be provided to all. In many cases, equipment can also be expensive and may not always be the answer to a person’s needs. Get advice from your doctor or occupational therapist to know the benefit of a piece of equipment.