How Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect Daily Life?
Unlocking the mystery behind
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease that inhibits our natural growth of neurons, affecting the brain’s neural control over the body along with progression. In an estimate, over 10 million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease worldwide, including many renowned personalities such as Mike Tyson & Mohammad Ali. In India alone, there have been an estimated 1 Million cases of patients suffering from Parkinson’s.
It is the effects of the disease and the side-effects of its medication that inhibit a patient from performing normal physical activities and everyday tasks as basic as changing their own clothes. But this doesn’t mean Parkinson’s patients cannot live a normal day and are stuck with assistance from others. Here’s a blog discussing a few daily life Parkinson’s tips that patients can incorporate to make their days back to normal.
Parkinson’s Tips to Plan Daily Activities
From your medication timing, meals, sleep, to outings, the best approach for a wholesome day of activities without straining your mind and body is simply planning ahead of time. For Parkinson’s patients, it’s crucial to have a proper routine to take medication and time their meals to go with it. Proper medication and diet are crucial for a patient to be able to function normally. Other key tips for daily life Parkinson’s that may bring positive change in their daily life are as follow.
Getting Dressed with Parkinson’s
For some of Parkinson’s patients dressing up by themselves can be very challenging. Tremors, muscle stiffness, cramps and lack of motor control make it difficult for patients to dress by themselves. Here are a few daily life Parkinson’s tips that can help you dress-up more comfortably.
- It’s better to sit and dress up to prevent yourself from losing balance.
- Use a chair that has armrests for better support.
- Go for clothes that are easy to wear and take-off such as wrap-around, joggers, etc. rather than tight and buttoned clothes.
- For shoes, it’s always best to go for a comfortable fit without laces.
For those who would like to dress properly, there is always the options of going a size larger with their clothes.
Bathing with Parkinson’s
Just as dressing, patients can ensure a proper and comfortable bath by themselves by incorporating just a few adjustments in their bathing process. Following are a few daily life Parkinson’s tips for a comfortable bath:
- Use a shower chair to avoid losing balance.
- Get some standard preventive fitting such as bar-handles to ensure your footing.
- Use long brushes to extend your reach.
- Have a skid-free rug inside.
For patients who are unable to walk or move around without assistance, a bathing tub would be the most comfortable option.
Severe dehydration caused by steroidal Parkinson’s medication which causes stomach ache, gas and indigestion. This, combined with their diminishing ability to control the body’s motor function, make use of the toilet for Parkinson’s patients insufferable. Here are a few daily life Parkinson’s tips to help your toilet situation.
- Get assistive fitting laid in the toilet to avoid losing balance.
- Use an elevated toilet with railing for safer use.
- Stay properly hydrated at all times.
- Keep a bedside commode for sudden uncontrollable situations.
Urinary Incontinence is the inability to control urine and very common amongst many Parkinson’s patients. Patients can choose to use adult diapers to help their condition.
Sialorrhea is an involuntary and excessive drooling caused by the stiffness of mouth muscles, a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease and a constant struggle to prevent. Some basic daily life Parkinson’s tips can help this case:
- Do various mouth exercises to prevent muscle stiffness.
- Suck on hard candy to prevent drooling temporarily.
- Use paper straws or a reusable straw for your drinkables.
For patients who suffer from a severe case of drooling, use a Scopolamine patch that comes with anticholinergic medicine which slows the production of saliva while absorbing it into the bloodstream.
Some other Parkinson’s Tips for a Healthier Life
Sleeping on Routine
Parkinson’s patients are often unable to sleep for longer hours due to episodes of nausea, muscle cramps, tremors, etc. It is one of the main reasons why many patients switch to sleep medication. But planning a proper sleep routine and sticking to it can be of great comfort for some. Patients are advised to synchronize their sleep with their medication and avoid taking naps and sleep at pre-scheduled hours only. Not only this will allow patients to sleep for longer durations, but it will also bring their body back to the normal everyday cycle. A better routine for sleep is one of the most important daily life of Parkinson’s tips.
Steroidal Parkinson’s medication is very heavy on the body and not easy to sustain. As one of the most helpful daily life Parkinson’s tips are advised to switch to a diet prescribed by a physician or professional nutritionist for a healthier body. Be sure to gather information about all the foods to avoid and the essentials to include in your diet. It is best to include food with anti-oxidation properties in your deit to detoxify the body. For patients who suffer from diseases other than Parkinson’s, it is best to consult a professional nutritionist and follow their prescribed diet. Remember, a healthier body is the key to a healthier mind.
Patients fail to realize that Parkinson’s diseases work by inhibiting the growth of neurons and does not affect the overall health of the body. Exercising not only helps patients keep their bodies healthy but burning enough energy allows them to sleep longer and deeper. Also, frequently exercising helps patients improve their muscle movements. Yoga has proven to be of great help for many Parkinson’s patients worldwide. Patients at a later stage of their disease can always take assistance in their exercising and slowly develop a workout routine they can sustain on their own. Exercising is one of the important tips for better sleep for Parkinson patients at any stage of their disease.
One important daily life Parkinson’s tip taking medication on a timely routine. Since Parkinson’s medication takes time to trigger during which patients suffer from nausea, the tension in muscles. Planning your medication will allow you to plan your day’s routine properly without being worried about the side-effects of the medication, and live your day normally.
All in all, the aforementioned daily life tips for Parkinson’s can be helpful for patients if considered altogether. But patients are advised to seek guidance from their neurologist before making any kind of changes in their diet, medication, or daily routine as it may hamper their treatment. In conclusion, Parkinson’s disease severely affects a patient’s ability to maintain their daily lives, but with some progressive changes, a comfortable daily routine can be found.