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Parkinson's Disease Health Center

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Planning Daily Activities With Parkinson's Disease

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Eating, Drinking, and Parkinson's Disease

  • Don't rush your meals. Allow the extra time you need to finish your meal. Rest your elbows on the table to provide more motion at your wrist and hand.
  • Sit with your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle in a straight-back chair.
  • Use utensils with built-up, lightweight handles, or use a "spork" -- a spoon and fork in one. Use a rocker knife for cutting food.
  • Use a non-skid mat to stabilize objects on the table.
  • Use a plate guard or plate with a raised lip to prevent food from spilling.
  • Use a long straw with a non-spill cup or use a plastic mug with a large handle.

Cooking With Parkinson's Disease

  • Use the back burners and keep pot handles turned inward.

To Prevent Drooling or Salivating

  • Suck on hard candy, lozenges, or gum to control excess saliva
  • Use a straw when drinking to strengthen the muscles of the lips, mouth, and throat.

Writing Tips for Parkinson's Disease

  • Use large print, instead of script writing. Try using weighted pens or pencils and wrap black electrical tape around the barrel for additional grip.
  • Use magic markers and large tablet on an easel.
  • If you have difficulty using writing utensils, try typing notes or letters on a computer or typewriter.

Parkinson's Disease and Shopping

  • Call ahead to make sure the store has the item you need.
  • Call ahead to reserve a wheelchair or tri-wheel cart if you aren't planning to bring your own.
  • Call a taxi or ask a friend or family member to drive you.

Cleaning Tips for Those With Parkinson's

  • Use long handles on sponge mops, cleaning brushes, dust pans, brooms, or window washers.
  • Sit to fold laundry, wash dishes, iron clothes, use the sweeper, mop the floor, or to plug in appliances at low outlets. Adapt counters so that you can reach them from your wheelchair or from a sitting position.

Sitting and Standing

  • Bend slowly at the waist and touch your toes before trying to rise from a seated position.
  • Once standing, remain in place for a few seconds before trying to walk. This will help you regain your balance.
  • Place an additional cushion or book to add height to your chairs and add firmness, this will help you to decrease the distance when sitting or standing.
  • To make it easier to get out of bed, tie a sheet to the bed post and knot the other end so you can grasp the sheet to rise to a sitting position.
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