Parkinson’s Disease: Tips for Sufferers

Parkinson’s disease is a terrible disease in which sufferers have little or no control over their steadily worsening symptoms. Although doctors have the ability to prescribe medication and to assist in any way they can, sometimes advice tends to slip through the cracks. Here are several tips for Parkinson’s disease sufferers that you might not hear from your doctor, but which might help in your everyday tasks and activities.

Keep your morning medication and a glass of water at bedside.
Studies have shown that for most Parkinson’s sufferers, symptoms of palsy and inflexibility are most apparent first thing in the morning. It may be difficult to get right out of bed, and the patient may need a few minutes to adjust, possibly performing stretches in bed or waiting until the muscles and joints “warm up”.

If you keep your medication and a glass of water by the bed, you won’t have to worry about heading to the kitchen or bathroom as soon as you open your eyes. Most Parkinson’s medications must be taken at specific times each day, and this will be complicated if you can’t get up immediately.

Pay attention to forgetfulness.
Sufferers of Parkinson’s disease often experience some of the memory problems associated with Alzheimer’s. If you begin to notice a certain level of forgetfulness – such as where you keep the glasses in the kitchen or what happened a week ago Thursday – you might be suffering from this very affliction.

Pay attention to your memory, and if you begin to notice lapses, inform your doctor immediately Medications can be altered or prescribed to lessen this strain, and at least you will know. Sticking post-it notes in highly visible areas might help to remind you of things you’ve forgotten.

Use a walking stick or cane.
Many Parkinson’s sufferers develop problems with balance as their disease progresses. This can mean taking a dangerous fall when you least expect it, which is where a walking stick or cane becomes necessary. This is especially true if you live alone, because you do not want to be stuck on the ground with no way to get up or get help.

Think before you act.
This is a strong case for “mind over matter”. Many Parkinson’s sufferers experience moments of “frozen movement”, where they are unable to continue walking, or may have difficulty getting out of bed or a chair. Studies have shown that it helps to mentally rehearse each of your movements, to visualize moving before actually giving it a shot. This will prepare your mind and body for movement, and might produce better results.

Stretch and exercise as often as possible.
Parkinson’s disease affects balance, flexibility and strength of the muscles, and the progress of the disease can be slowed down by using the muscles frequently. Set aside time each day to stretch your arms and legs and to perform simple exercise that will keep you in fit condition. Sitting or lying down for long periods of time with no motion can cramp the muscles and actually help the disease to progress. Instead, put a stake in a future of healthy range of motion by exercising. This will also help with your outlook because exercising releases healthy endorphins.

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