Tremors, rigidity, slowness of movement, and unsteadiness in Parkinson’s can affect an individual’s daily life. As the neurological disorder progresses, daily routine tasks like eating, dressing, and writing turn into daunting tasks.
Thankfully, some aids can make living with Parkinson’s easy and carefree experience. We carried out a focus group research to find out what equipment are used by Parkinson’s fighters, and whether they helped improve safety, and quality of life. Here is a list of some assistive devices that can help you feel more in control of everyday tasks.
1. Mobility Aids
Mobility aids help people with Parkinson’s get up or stand care-freely. The couch and bed cane, bed rail, transfer handle and gait belt are quite useful mobility aids. Wheelchair backpacks, bags, pouches, and personal alarms are other must-haves for safety.
2. Bathing and Grooming Aids
Bathing aids can help make bathing, shampooing, or cleansing easier. Sometimes, all you need is a stable support rail or grab bar. Caregiver bathing aids for Parkinson’s include bath and shower chairs, seats and benches, waterless shampoo, body wash, and elevated toilet seat.
3. Bedroom Equipment
Special equipment can be used to help improve independence and safety in the bedroom. Hospital-style beds provide added comfort for those Parkinson’s fighters who are recommended to spend long periods of time in bed. Adjustability of these beds can make a caregiver’s job much easier. An assist handle (a sturdy handle that attaches to the bedside) can help Parkinson’s fighter pull himself upright.
4. Dining Aids
Certain products can make feeding, eating, and drinking a little easier for Parkinson’s fighters. A travel mug with a lid and attached straw helps prevent drink spills while a nonskid mat under your plate helps hold it securely in place. Utensils with oversized or angled handles may be easier to use. A scoop plate with a rim on one side can keep food from sliding off. Other commonly used feeding and eating aids include adult bibs, food bumpers, plate guards, weighted utensils, and adapted silverware.
5. Dressing Aids
Dressing aids can make dressing independently a little easier for Parkinson’s fighters. If putting on socks is a problem, sock aids are a tremendous help. Just put the sock over the tube and pull a long handle. It will slip the sock right on.
Button aids with large grips or weighted handles can also enable those Parkinson’s fighters who have hand or grip impairments. Clothing fasteners (such as buttonhooks and zipper pulls), lightweight, supportive shoes with Velcro tabs or elastic shoelaces are other helpful dressing aids.
6. Cooking Tools
Trembling, twisting, or writhing movements in Parkinson’s can make cooking a dangerous job. Rocker knives with rounded blades can make cutting safer. Electric openers, electric vegetable peelers, and electric scissors may be easier to use than the manual ones.
7. Writing Aids
Common writing aids for Parkinson’s are weighted pens, weighted holders, and large grip pens. Using large print, rather than script writing, is often easier while weighted pens or pencils may help stabilize a shaky hand. For additional grip, wrap black electrical tape, or foam handles around the barrel of the pen can be used.
8. Computer Gears
If typing on a computer keyboard or using a mouse becomes difficult, some computer gears can help. Specially-designed keyboards with large keys reduce spelling mistakes. You might also like to type using a keyguard (a plastic overlay with holes that isolate each key). Great alternative to a mouse are touchpad, joystick, or trackball.
9. Voice Devices
Voice changes are common in Parkinson’s. If your voice has gone very soft, a personal voice amplifier may help. Many telephone amplifiers are available to increase the volume of your voice on the phone.
10. Medication Reminders
Medication Reminders help caregiver manage Parkinson’s medications. Weekly pillboxes can help you ensure that the correct medication has been taken at the correct time. Electronic medication reminders include watches and alarms to set time to take medications. Devices that cut pills in half are helpful for dividing pills.