A Guide to Planning Daily Activities in Parkinson’s

Planning Daily Activities in Parkinson's

If you have been dealing with Parkinson’s, you must have experienced fluctuations in your mobility and energy levels during the day. This can affect many aspects of your daily life.

Setting your priorities right and planning your day carefully can make the effects of Parkinson’s much less stressful and intrusive. After all, maintaining your energy level will help you improve your quality of life and make full use of your potential. Here are some tips.

1 . Set priorities

Plan chores, exercise, and recreation ahead of time. Space them out throughout the day. Don’t plan activities right after a meal. Rest 20-30 minutes after each meal. Finish your recreation activities around the times when your medication is most effective. Rest between recreation and leisure activities.

2 . Remain flexible

An occupational therapist can help you discover new ways of doing everyday tasks with ease. He/she can show you how to simplify your work and conserve your energy for exercising daily. You can:

  • Get dressed while sitting in a chair that has armrests.
  • Roll from side to side to get pants over your hips.
  • Wear clothes that are lose fitting and have elastic waistbands.
  • Use lukewarm water as very hot water can cause fatigue.
  • Sew straps on towels to make them easier for you to hold while drying.
  • Place a non-skid rug on the floor outside the tub to dry your feet so you don’t slip.
  • Rest your elbows on the table while eating to provide more motion at your wrist and hand.
  • Do all of your grooming while sitting.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward while cooking.
  • Use a straw while drinking to strengthen the muscles of the lips.

3 . Take your time

Allow extra time to do everything; be it eating, drinking, dressing, talking, and writing. Tackle one job at a time and break down activities into a series of smaller steps. Ask caregiver to assist you with the difficult portions of the task.

4 . Use mobility aid(s)

Use certain mobility aids so that you reserve right energy levels for the exercise. Don’t forget to try out equipment (canes, walkers, electric wheelchairs, or transport chairs). Check out the size, weight, and ease of operation before you buy them. Use:

  • A dressing stick if you have shoulder weakness.
  • A zipper pull to zip pants or jackets.
  • A hand-held hose for showering and bathing.
  • A rocker knife for cutting food.
  • An intercom system or walkie-talkie to make contact within the home easier.
  • Hairbrushes and combs with built-up handles for grooming.
  • An electric toothbrush for oral hygiene.
  • A plate guard or plate with a raised lip to prevent food from spilling.
  • Weighted pens or pencils for additional grip while writing.

5 . Set realistic goals

Don’t pull, or lift heavy objects (more than 10 pounds) that require you to strain. Plan at least one rest every day. If you get swelling in your feet or ankles, elevate your legs when you are resting or sitting for prolonged periods.


6 . Observe your energy levels

Share with your doctor if you observe motor function changes, mood/anxiety concerns, or speech issues while performing daily tasks. This may require certain modifications in your dosage portion.


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