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Parkinson's Disease Health Center

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Planning Daily Activities With Parkinson's Disease

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Getting Dressed With Parkinson's Disease

  • Get dressed while sitting in a chair that has armrests -- this will help you keep your balance.
  • Roll from side to side to get pants over your hips. You can do this while sitting in a chair or lying down on your bed.
  • Wear clothes that are loose fitting and have elastic waistbands.
  • Choose wrap-around clothing instead of the pullover type. Also choose clothing that opens in the front, not the back so you don't have to reach behind you.
  • Wear clothing with large, flat buttons, zippers, or Velcro closures.
  • Use a button hook to button clothing.
  • Use a dressing stick if you have shoulderweakness to get your coat or shirt on or off.
  • Use a zipper pull or attach a leather loop on the end of the zipper to zip pants or jackets.
  • Wear slip-on shoes or buy elastic shoelaces that allow you to slip your shoes on and off without untying the laces. Use devices such as a sock donner and long-handled shoehorn for additional assistance.

Bathing With Parkinson's Disease

  • Use a shower chair if necessary.
  • Use a hand-held hose for showering and bathing.
  • Use a long-handled sponge or scrubbing brush.
  • Use soap-on-a-rope, bath mitts, or sponges with soap inside or a soft soap applicator instead of bar soap.
  • Use lukewarm water, as very hot water can cause fatigue.
  • Sew straps on towels to make them easier to hold while drying.
  • Place a non-skid rug on the floor outside the tub to dry your feet so you don't slip.
  • Put a towel on the back of your chair and rub your back against it to dry. Or, use a terry cloth robe instead of a towel to dry off.

Going to the Bathroom With Parkinson's Disease

  • If needed, use a bedside commode.
  • In the bathroom, use an elevated toilet seat and/or safety rails to assist standing from a low surface.

Grooming With Parkinson's Disease

  • Do all of your grooming (shaving, drying your hair, etc) while sitting.
  • Use hairbrushes and combs with built-up handles or handles with finger loops.
  • Use toothbrushes with built-up handles or use an electric toothbrush.
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