Monday, 11 February 2013

Adapting to a life with Parkinson's

The extent of your disability is related to how well adapted the environment is to your needs. This applies to everyone; for example, if your TV projected UV light it would be ill suited to the need we all have of seeing only in the visual part of the spectrum. Therefore, we all adapt our environment to our needs and buy TVs that generate visual light.

It is important to apply the way we adapt to everyday things to the challenges of Parkinson’s. I’ve made the following adaptations with the help of my Occupational Therapist:


I use an electric toothbrush.
I have a perching stool so I can sit and do my teeth.
I go to the barbers to have a shave.
I have a raised toilet seat to help me descend from my throne.
I use moist toilet paper to speed up wiping.
I have a bath chair so I can take rests when showering.
I use anti-dandruff shampoo to fight my dry skin.
Holding a sponge is challenging so I use a bath mitt.


I have a perching stool so I can sit and prepare meals.
I use a chopping board with a clamp to help me open bottles and jars.
When I can I buy ready-prepared and chopped vegetables and meat.
I use one-handed scissors.
I use light weight cutlery with big handles.
I wash up using rubber gloves with attached scrubbing pads.

Living room

I have my laptop on an adjustable table.
I find holding a book challenging so I use an eBook. 


I use slip on shoes.

Adaptation is a delicate balance between challenging yourself and doing things with a little help. It isn't about doing nothing; its about enabling you to do something you otherwise wouldn't do or making that something easier. For example, every time I leave my flat I could spend 10 minutes tying my shoe laces or use slip on shoes and put the time and energy saved to a better purpose. The adaptation of using slip on shoes doesn't cause me to stay in my flat, it makes it easier to go out.

My aim is to save as much energy as possible to do what I want to alongside my Parkinson's.

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