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February 7, 2017

Best Practices for Maintaining Independence with Parkinson's Disease

When living with Parkinson's Disease, you do not have to let the disease define your life. There are many ways you can improve your health and well-being to ensure you maintain a level of independence.

MODIFY YOUR ENVIRONMENT

1. Arrange Your Furniture: The fear of falling is one of the greatest fears of all individuals over the age of 55, and Parkinson’s Disease increases your risk of falling. One of the most important things you can do is arrange your house so that important areas are easily accessible and you are less likely to trip or fall. This can mean removing throw rugs, getting rid of unnecessary furniture, pushing all remaining furniture to the edges of the room for maximum ease of movement, and purchasing special chairs for the shower and other slippery environments. The easier and safer it is for you to move around by yourself, and the more you reduce the risk of injury, the easier it will be to maintain a life of independence.

2. Modify Your Furniture and Workplace: Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease does not mean you are not able to support yourself by working. Tasks like getting in and out of chairs might become more difficult when you age or are diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Purchasing taller chairs can be very helpful. There are also plenty of modifications you can make to your workplace that can help with your symptoms. You can add a handrail to your office for added support as well as modified equipment for typing or additional computer work. You may also want to talk to your employer about a break schedule or the ability to work from home depending on your symptoms.

3. Manage Your Transportation: Talk with your doctor to be sure your function is at a level that will not inhibit your ability to drive. If you are not able to drive due to your condition, or do not feel safe driving, this does not mean you cannot manage your own transportation! Public transportation or joining a carpool could be a great resource for you to travel to work or running errands, as well as keep you socially connected.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY

1. Make Meal Preparation Easy: Cooking can be difficult when living with Parkinson’s Disease and it is hard to rely on others for every meal. Malnutrition is a significant concern as we age. Find recipes that are simple to prepare and have ingredients and tools in easy to reach places. Looking up is also challenging for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s, so placing objects below eye-level can be helpful. You can also buy certain tools that can make preparing a meal easier. Keeping up all aspects of a healthy lifestyle are important and there are plenty of easy to prepare and healthy recipes you can make with minimal preparation. You can also look into resources like www.blueapron.com , which will send you everything you need to prepare a delicious meal, easily.

2. Digestive Health: Constipation is a symptom that comes along with Parkinson’s disease. It is important to make sure that you are having regular bowel movements. Talk to your doctor to see if a spore-based probiotic, high-fiber diet, and weekly fasting are right for you.

3. Exercise: Walking is a great exercises to ensure that both your muscles and heart stay healthy. Research is also suggesting that walking may also improve your brain function! Other activities like yoga, swimming, water aerobics, and “Rock Steady” Boxing, can keep your body healthy and active.

BRAIN HEALTH

1. Supplementation: Ensuring that your brain has all of the nutrients, or “co-factors”, to make brain messenger molecules is very important in Parkinson’s. A supplement specifically formulated to optimize brain function, linke NEUROSYNERGY360 (www.NeuroSynergy360.com) can help you improve your brain health.

2. Keep Active: Learning a new language, solving puzzles, keeping an active social life, and engaging your mind may also have benefits to preserving healthy brain function.

3. Identify Your Areas of Weakness and Work on Them: A facility with doctors trained in neurodegeneration and rehabilitation, like Plasticity Brain Centers, can identify the specific areas or networks of your brain that are aging more quickly due to Parkinson’s. They can also prescribe exercises specifically for YOU, to help slow the progress of PD and preserve or improve your independence and quality of life.

Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease does not mean you have to sacrifice your independence. It will take time and effort to modify your life, but it is rewarding to know that you have control over your life and can succeed.

Plasticity Brain Centers knows how important it is to still feel like yourself and to slow down the progression of your disease.

Sources:
• https://parkinsonsmi.org/managing-pd/entry/living-alone-with-parkinsons-disease
• http://www.demoshealth.com/w/16-ways-to-stay-positive-while-living-with-parkinsons-disease/
• http://www.parkinsons.org.au/living-with-parkinsons
• http://www.pdf.org/en/home_safety

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