This Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we asked our Parkinson’s disease (PD) community to share their keys to Parkinson’s with us. We received hundreds of keys to living well with Parkinson’s!
Whether you are living with PD, are a caregiver or a healthcare professional, thank you for sharing your tips that make life a little easier. We will be posting your keys at Parkinson.org/Blog throughout the year but check out our top 10 keys submitted by YOU.
“I listen to audiobooks and love good thrillers. I tease myself into exercising by allowing myself the satisfaction of hearing what happens next only when I’m exercising.”
“Create a playlist for walking. My symptoms get worse towards the end of long walks as I tire. By creating a playlist of songs with a good strong walking beat, the muscle memory kicks in and helps my body finish the walk strong instead of dragging one heel and not having one arm swing.”
“For me, I have been blessed to be part of the Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) family for the last 3 plus years. Our coaches encourage us to push ourselves to continue to improve our strength, balance, movements, stamina and endurance. We have class 4 times a week and what a great and supportive new family of friends we have in each other! If you had told me that I would be doing a boxing workout at age 71 for an hour 3-4 times a week, I probably would have laughed. Rock Steady Boxing has given me a whole new positive outlook on my Parkinson's.”
“I use a black container to put all my husband’s medications in when I get them ready for him to take. I used to use little clear plastic cups that fruit snacks come in, but since most of his pills are white or light colored it was sometimes for him to see if he took them all. Then I found some black sauce cups from an Italian restaurant and he said he could see the pills much better against the black.”
“Planning. I am the live-in caregiver for my mom with PD. I set aside a few hours one day a month to set up her pills in four, seven-day containers. That way in case something comes up with her or me at least we have her pills ready. I also set alarm timers in her phone and mine for her pill times. Such a big help!”
“My key to living well with Parkinson’s is a metronome. When I get up in the morning, I have trouble walking because of freezing issues. It is very frustrating. There are ways to trick your brain into walking, but the best thing I have found is a metronome. The tick, tick, tick helps me to get going. Now I don’t want to carry a metronome around and as they say, ‘there’s an app for that.’ I have it on my phone and it is my key to get my morning moving!”
“I have rather severe tremors and eating gets pretty messy. I find that if I put my plate of food on top of a large bowl, the distance from plate to mouth is much reduced, which makes more food stay on the spoon or fork during that journey. It is a very small thing but for me, it makes a big difference.”
“Use supermarket gift cards so you don't have to sign for a credit card or fumble with paper money and coins.”
“To decrease my leg pain/stiffness when I go to sleep, I do an Epsom salt soak. Heat the water as hot as you can stand it (without sustaining a burn). Add two cups of Epsom salts (there are some that are infused with lavender) and 1/2 cup baking soda. To enhance the experience, light a candle and/or play soothing music. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes.”
"Since my hands are weak, I use a Waterpik, face scrubber, button hook, electric toothbrush and hair dryer holder to help me get dressed and out the door faster. My best tip is using a seat belt extender in my car so that I can buckle up with my right hand. These things are small but make life so much easier. Also, it's important to have a 'happy place' and parrots are mine!"