Living with Parkinson’s
Did you know there are 10,000 people living with Parkinson’s in New Zealand?
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurodegenerative condition caused by lowered dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for coordinated physical movement.
Parkinson’s can strike at any age, but it is most common among older age groups. The average age at diagnosis is 59 years.
Common motor symptoms such as tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement can have a significant impact on day-to-day living.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but the good news is many symptoms associated with the condition can be managed, and assistive products can help you complete daily tasks independently.
Products that make a difference
Bed and chair raisers:
Stiffness, slow movement and problems with balance can affect simple actions like getting in and out of chairs.
Chair raisers are a simple solution. They fit under most chair and bed legs and raise the height of your furniture so it’s easier to stand. Add a firm seat pad for more height if necessary.
U step walker
Many people with Parkinson’s find they need a walking stick or frame to support mobility as their condition progresses. U-step manufacture mobility aids specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s.
The U step walker is constructed in a u-shape for extra stability, and the braking system has been designed to give more control – it won’t roll until the user is ready to walk.
A bed lever has a sturdy, easy-to-grip handle that provides support when getting in and out of bed, or adjusting position while in bed. So it’s ideal for people with limited mobility and difficulties with balance.
The handle is attached to a wooden base that slides securely between your mattress and bed base.
Angled utensils make meal times easier and more comfortable. They have a wide handle for better grip, and you’ll find the angle of the utensil makes it easier to scoop food on to the fork or spoon.
Pair angled utensils with a deep-sided dish with non-slip bottom to help scoop food more easily and prevent spills.
Buttoning shirts and trousers can be fiddly for people who experience tremors from Parkinson’s. But the button hook can help with independent dressing.
Simply thread the tool through the button hole, hook the button on the end of the tool and gently pull the button back through the hole.
Looking for something else?
Visit us to see our full range of mobility products and assistive aids to support independent living.
Ask about our products to help with dressing and mealtimes that are specially designed for people with Parkinson’s. We also have a range of simple and affordable exercise equipment designed to improve balance and coordination.
And talk with us about how to make your home and bathroom safer and easier to move around with our extensive range of handrails and grab bars.
Visit Parkinson’s New Zealand for more information about the condition and to find local support groups.
This project was completed as part of a third year occupational therapy fieldwork assignment. Two occupational therapy new graduates have collated this resource in order to help people navigate the unique range of equipment Life Unlimited Store has to offer.