Assistive Aids and Devices for Parkinson’s
For many people with Parkinson’s, daily activities can become more and more difficult as the condition progresses. Despite medication and therapy, there may still be some daily activities that you find difficult to do. There are many devices out there that can assist with difficult tasks so that you can maintain your safety and independence throughout the day.
1. Mobility Aids
Mobility aids are great for improving your balance if you feel unsteady on your feet. There are a number of different types of mobility aids available. A physiotherapist can help you choose an appropriate one depending on your specific needs. Examples include walking poles, walking sticks, and rollators. Some people only use them outdoors or over long distances.
Handrails can be very useful for keeping your balance while moving around the house. These are often placed in the bathroom to assist people with standing up from the toilet or getting in and out of the bath or shower. Bathrooms can be particularly hazardous because of the slippery floors. It may also be beneficial to place handrails on both sides of the stairs or in the hallway.
3. Laser Canes
A laser cane or walker is specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s who experience freezing. A laser is attached to the cane or walker and it will shine a red line on the ground in front of you to step over. This can help you overcome freezing episodes when out walking.
Choosing velcro shoes instead of laces can make it much easier to put on your shoes. Weighted button aids or button hooks can help with closing and opening buttons, and zipper rings can be attached to the small handles on zippers to make them easier to grasp and pull down or up.
Electric toothbrushes and electric razors can lessen the workload of brushing your teeth or shaving. Shower or bath chairs can be helpful if you have reduced balance.
Travel mugs or flasks and plates with raised edges are useful for avoiding spillages. There are a number of brands that have designed cutlery specifically for people with tremors, such as ‘The Liftware Utensil’. Utensils with larger and weighted handles are generally better for anyone with a tremor as they are easier to grip.