Parkinson’s disease is a disease that affects roughly 100,000 Canadians. It is a disease that is diagnosed in more than 5,000 people every year. Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s include slow movement, stiffness, hand tremors and as balance issues. Over time, these symptoms will only get worse, which results in problems with daily tasks, such as eating and getting around. Keep reading to learn a few tips that will make both of these a little bit easier.
Tips for Eating
Eating can become a very difficult task when you are living with Parkinson’s disease. Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to help make eating significantly easier.
- Sit Up Straight – Make sure to maintain good posture during and for a short period of time following meals. This will help ensure that the food passes through the esophagus and into the stomach.
- Use Straws – For individuals who find it difficult to swallow, a straw may be helpful. This is especially true with thinner liquids since it will help to control the amount of liquid that is actually entering the mouth.
- Small Pieces, Small Bites – Be sure that food is cut into small pieces. Each bite should be chewed several times before trying to swallow it. Sometimes, it may be helpful to take a sip of water to help the food go down easier and with less pain.
- Use Eating Aids – Consider using eating aids, such as special utensils that are angled to make it easier to pick up foods. There are also special cups that make it easier to get liquid into your mouth without having to tilt your head back too much.
Tips for Getting Around
Canes and walkers are two things that can be lifesavers for a person with Parkinson’s disease. However, it’s important that these two items are carefully chosen to ensure that they are actually helpful rather than harmful.
- Canes – When choosing a cane, it is important that there is a comfortable hand grip. It also needs to be adjustable. This is primarily due to the fact that non-adjustable canes can cause you to lean too much to one side to try and keep the cane on the ground. This can cause improper balance and possibly result in a fall. When standing straight, the height of the cane should be at your wrist to avoid injury.
- Walkers – When choosing a walker, you need to make sure that you only opt for a four-wheeled walker. This is because a standard walker must be picked up in order to be moved, which could cause you to lose your balance and fall. In addition, you want to choose a walker that has handbrakes as well as swivel wheels. This will make it easier for you to maneuver. You may also want to consider a walker with a seat and a basket for added comfort.
It is often recommended that individuals with Parkinson’s disease have some sort of home health care. By having someone come to the home for health care needs, it allows for a person to keep a certain level of their independence while ensuring that they are cared for appropriately.