Parkinsons And Seating What To Consider When Specifying A Chair
Sarah SarsbyParkinsons and seating What to consider when specifying a chairAT Views & InsightsRepose Furniture C-airKate Sheehan, Director of The OT Service, is an occupational therapist specialising in environmental design and equipment provision. She is well respected as a leader in the field of product and commercial consultancy and is passionate that products are designed to meet function, enable occupation, are simple and intuitive to use.
Many occupational therapists will have worked with, or be currently working with, clients who are living with Parkinsons disease and will, therefore, be all too aware that providing the correct seating for someone with this condition is vital.
In this article, Repose Furniture, one of the UKs leading manufacturers of bespoke seating solutions, discusses what to take into consideration when specifying a chair for someone with Parkinsons with its retained occupational therapist Kate Sheehan.
Parkinsons disease is caused by the death of specific neurons in the brain area called the substantia nigra. These nerve cells produce a substance called dopamine, which is, therefore, lacking in people with Parkinsons disease. Dopamine is a chemical that is responsible for the normal working of the part of the brain that controls movement.
Dopamine deficiency leads to the following symptoms of the disease:
- Stiffness of movement, making initiating movement difficult
- Impaired balance
Repose Furniture Boston portering chair
Clothing For Parkinson’s Patients
Parkinsons is a neurodegenerative disease that progressively affects the ability to move making daily activities increasingly difficult for older people. People living with this condition suffer from tremors, muscle stiffness, slower or slowed reflexes, and loss of automatic movements that may require them to need additional help and care to, for example, dress and undress.
Here are some useful tips that will help you, as a caregiver, to dress the elderly person suffering from Parkinsons disease that you are looking after:
- Be sure to provide them with different clothing choices for each day to remind them that although they may need help dressing, they are still in control of their own lives. This is extremely important for their sense of independence and therefore for their self-esteem and self confidence.
- Reduce the time needed to get them dressed by preparing in advance the complete outfits youll be showing them. This will allow you to spend more time with them instead of looking through their wardrobe!
- Give them a choice between different colored clothes so they can choose the one that best suits their mood on that day.
- Be careful not to buy tight socks for the elderly that have Parkinsons. Not only are they difficult to put on, but they can also restrict blood flow to the feet. Be mindful of their backs and have them sit down, or even lie down, when you put on their socks or shoes.
Ovidis Adaptive wear collection for women :
About Easywear Adaptive Clothing Inctm
EasyWear Adaptive ClothingTM is an Independent Retailer who markets fashionable adaptive and disability clothing for individuals with reduced mobility or in rehabilitation.
Most pieces are created, with a unique flexible style, with two panels for full back coverage and closure snaps located on the shoulders for ease. This system has been carefully designed to simplify dressing for individuals of all ages experiencing reduced mobility as a result of arthritis, paralysis, Parkinsons Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and other short or long term rehabilitation or disabilities. Our Adaptable Clothing For Seniors also allows for effortless assistive dressing for caregivers and medical personnel.
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Set Yourself Up For Success: Create A Plan Make It Routine
Control your routine by making it routine. Similar to the previous point, reflect on what it is that makes changing clothes with Parkinson’s the most difficult for you and think through ways to make it a bit easier. If you keep your schedules as consistent as possible, youll reduce the need to rush and stress.
If you feel particularly stiff in the morning, doing a light warmup or easy stretching could make getting dressed a whole lot easier. If you have one arm or leg that typically experiences more stiffness than the other, put that limb into the sleeve or pant leg first, followed by the more limber one.
What Is Parkinsons Disease
Lets begin with a brief definition of Parkinsons, and how it can affect a person. Parkinsons Disease causes progressive damage to specific areas of the brain, which in turn can cause uncontrollable shaking and tremors in certain areas of the body, slow movements, and stiff muscles which decreases mobility.
Parkinsons can also cause other symptoms like depression, lack of balance, memory problems, insomnia, and even a loss of sense of smell.
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Women’s Parkinsons Clothing Styles
Choose from our Parkinson’s clothing for women based upon the persons’ ability to dress herself. The person either dresses independently or needs help with dressing .
Womens Parkinsons Clothing Dresses Independently/Self Dresser
- Pulling on over the head and zipping up the front with the “to the hip” zipper makes dressing a little easier for the woman with Parkinsons disease to be independent in dressing. We have many selections from our dresses and dusters collections to choose from. If you would like us to put a large zipper loop or tab on the zipper pull to make dressing easier, let us know.
- Our culottes and slacks are easy for the person with hand tremors to pull on. The elastic waistbands are generous and stretchy, making it easier to dress.
- Knit pants sets/separates make self dressing less strenuous for the woman with Parkinsons disease. The pull-over tops and pull-on bottoms make for just a two step process.
- Polo shirts come in a wide range of colors and can be coordinated with several outfits. If she prefers blouses, but has trouble with tremors in her fingers, making buttons a problem, let us know and we alter the blouse, using VELCRO® brand closures in place of the buttons.
Womens Parkinsons Clothing Needs help to Dress/Assisted Dressing
If you need more information on Parkinsons disease, please check out the following website @ www.parkinson.org
Counteract Slipping And Leaning
For those with Parkinsons, a common concern is sliding out of a chair. A recliner chair works so that when you recline your back, your feet can elevate too, which makes sliding out much less likely. The challenge of leaning to one side due to rigidity that some people with Parkinsons encounter can also be helped by a rise and recline chair that has increased lumbar support, or internal cushions that can be adjusted.
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Hospital Clothing For Patients
Hospital clothes for patients often require adaptive designs to accommodate varying medical procedures and stages of recovery. Our post-surgical clothing has simple snap closures to provide complete dignity and easy access for follow-up and wound care. When undergoing rehab, palliative care or convalescence, ease of wear in dressing and comfort is most important. Making items like our open back tops and easy to wear pull-on pants perfect.
Medical Treatment Of Parkinsons Disease
Enormous progress has been made in the treatment of Parkinsons disease over the past half century, but levodopa remains the most potent drug for controlling PD symptoms . Prior to instituting medical therapy, a correct diagnosis of PD must be established and the level of impairment determined . Each patients therapy is to be individualized, and diverse drugs other than levodopa are presently available. Among these are the dopamine agonists , catechol-o-methyl-transferase inhibitors and nondopaminergic agents . Head-to-head comparisons of drugs within classes are rare, and the differences that have emerged are related to the effects on motor fluctuations, dyskinesias, on/off times and adverse effects of the specific agents within each class .
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How Can Adaptive Clothing Help People With Parkinsons Dress Easier
When your loved one is starting to struggle with the task of getting dressed, changing over to adaptive designs can offer more comfort and an easier way to get dressed. Adaptive clothing for disabled adults generally includes easy-to-reach zippers and snaps along the sides.
When your loved one needs help getting dressed, you can make it easier on his/her caregiver by investing in adaptive clothing.
Clothing For Parkinson’s Patients Makes Dressing Easier And More Dressing Tips
Here are five great dressing tips to make putting on clothes for Parkinson’s patients so much easier. As you are aware, Parkinson’s can make many simple tasks much more difficult. One particularly notable example is getting dressed and undressed. A former routine, which required little thought, now requires more time, care and planning. And of course that increased challenge can make this twice-daily situation frustrating, especially as the disease progresses. The key: make a plan. Here are five practical tips that should make dressing and undressing a bit easier! And of course, check out Joe & Bellas line of adaptive wear for easy-dressing options – these are perfect clothes for Parkinson’s patients!
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Home Modifications Make Life Easier
Adapt your environment to your needs. With the installation of equipment and modification of standard home features you can overcome barriers and remain living safely in your home for a longer period of time. Possibilities include:
- Door hinges that provide a few extra inches
- Barrier free bathrooms including roll-in showers
- Lower counter tops
Products For Simpler Living
Adaptive living products may help in maintaining independence and improving quality of life. Many of the products are helpful for those who experience tremor.
- Compression hosiery to help with restless legs.
- Adaptive clothing including slip-on shoes, elasticized trousers and skirts and Velcro fastening make dressing easier.
- Weighted utensils help stabilize movement and simplify eating.
- U-Step walkers with laser lights provide a bright red laser line that can increase stride length, break freezing patterns, and enhance mobility.
- Transfer chairs and wheelchairs.
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Practice Patience: Getting Dressed With Clothes For Parkinson’s Patients Might Take Longer Than Before
Just like heading home from work as rush hour hits, this ride will take longer than youd like. By accepting the fact that dressing will now take more time, youll be better able emotionally to handle this life change. Think about clothes for Parkinson’s patients as the vehicle that will help you get home faster – but you’ll still need to follow the directions and rules of the road.
Here’s an obvious but important dressing tip for Parkinsons: Dont rush it. If youre trying to hurry home in the middle of rush hour, you wont get there any faster. But youll have picked up a big ball of stress and anxiety on the way. So give yourself plenty of time. Theres no need for an aspect of your daily routine to be stressful. If you take meds in the morning that manage symptoms of Parkinsons, it might be a good idea to wait for the meds to kick in before getting dressed.
The Bo Adaptive Shirt
The Bo Adaptive Shirt comes with exceptional tailoring and broad shoulders for much easier movements. The hook-and-loop fasteners offer an easy-to-use closure at the cuffs. There is also a yoke across the upper back and the shoulders for additional support.
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Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI, often referred to as simply Disability, is assistance intended for those individuals who are of working age and cannot work as a direct result of their medical condition. The SSA does not provide care assistance but instead provides financial assistance that can be used for care. To be eligible one must both have a written diagnosis of Parkinsons Disease and have earned monthly income of less than approximately $1,000.
Is Getting Dressed An Obstacle You Need To Fight To Overcome Adaptive Clothing For Seniors Could Be The Answer Youre Looking For
Ever heard of adaptive clothing? Are you picturing a hospital gown or clinical wear? Yes, thats the origin of adaptive clothing, but its come a long way in the last few years. The clothing industry is changing fast, and although everything is easier and cheaper now that weve moved into mass-producing almost everything, were now starting to realize that by producing clothes that are aimed at the norm we end up bypassing huge sections of the population.
As Stephanie Thomas points out in her TEDx talk, there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide and 650 million seniors. Thats a lot of people who may well not be served by this type of industry. Standard clothes really might not be the best fit for everyone. But whats the solution?
Well, quite a few little changes could be made that make getting dressed effortless. Firstly, we need to get rid of fastenings that make our lives harder than they need to be. Fiddly buttons? Tiny zippers? So many clothes that we have to pull over our heads. What if we made all these clothes easier for people who dont have the range of movement necessary to maneuver in and out of them every day?
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Conditions That Can Prove Challenging To Seat
Parkinsons Disease Those suffering from Parkinsons disease can suffer from arm and leg tremors, rigidity of the muscles, as well as pain in the back, neck shoulders and chest, which need to be considered in seating and selecting the correct chair.
Multiple Sclerosis / MS Patients suffering from MS endure extreme fatigue, pain, loss of muscular strength as well as spasticity of the muscles which can lead to uncontrolled movements. These need to be factored into selection of the right seating solution.
ALS/Motor Neuron Disease Patients with ALS/Motor Neuron Disease often present spasticity of the muscles which can lead to uncontrolled muscle movements, weakness and muscle degeneration which can eventually lead to paralysis of the limbs. Their rapidly changing needs need to be accommodated in one solution and can be catered for in a multi adjustable chair.
Huntingtons Disease It has been said that having Huntingtons Disease Feels Like having ALS, Parkinsons and Alzheimers Disease, all at the same time. One of the most significant side effects of Huntingtons Disease is involuntary movements of the trunk and arms and feet which can result in falls and in the patient coming to extra harm. Comfort and safety are key considerations in selecting an appropriate chair for Huntingtons Disease patients.
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Use Specific Clothes For Parkinson’s Patients: Find Products That Work For You
There are so many new options out there that will make dressing easier for someone who lives with Parkinsons Disease.
Adaptive Apparel will make your life much simpler. Shoes that you can easily slip into shirts with magnets instead of buttons and pants with size zippers will become your favorite type of clothing. There are many brands that are innovating in this space, creating clothing with smart functionality while also still looking stylish and feeling comfortable. From Friendly Shoes, to Slick Chicks, to Joe & Bella, these new brands are creating inclusive clothing that you should be wearing.
And dont overlook adaptive equipment either button hooks, dressing sticks, zipper pulls, or even devices to help pull up socks will make getting into your traditional clothing easier than without. Of course, wed recommend finding adaptive clothing, but these tools are great for those clothing items that you love and dont want to give up wearing.
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Walking Strategies For People Living With Parkinsons
Various strategies can help people living with Parkinsons who have difficulty walking, but a new study finds that many people have never heard of or tried these strategies.
The study also found that how well different compensation strategies worked depended on the context in which they were used, such as indoors versus outdoors, under time pressure or not.
We know people with Parkinsons often spontaneously invent creative detours to overcome their walking difficulties, in order to remain mobile and independent, said study author Anouk Tosserams MD of the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
For example, people walk to the rhythm of a metronome, by mimicking the gait of another person, or by counting in their head. We found that people are rarely educated about all the different compensation strategies. When they are, people often find strategies that work better for them and their unique circumstances.
For the study, researchers surveyed 4,324 people with Parkinsons and disabling gait impairments. These include problems like imbalance, shuffling, falling, staggering, and freezing.
Of the participants, 35 percent found that their walking difficulties affected their ability to perform their usual daily activities and 52 percent had one or more falls in the past year.
The survey explained the seven main categories of compensation strategies. They are:
Best 3 Walkers For Parkinsons Patients
Mzee Wilson seriously needed a walking aid. After diagnosis of Parkinsons at the age of 63, he had been using a walking cane and things seemed right for sometimes. But now, here he was looking for a better solution. Obviously the walking cane was not that effective. It was hurting his wrist and at the same time, he was less stable. We tried a standard walker but it was not that effective.
Then someone suggested that we use the ustep walker which had been proved to be great for most Parkinsons patients.
Here is our list of best parkinsons walkers arranged in order of rating:
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