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Occupational Therapy And Parkinson’s Disease

What Other Services Does Physical Therapy Provide

Parkinson’s Disease Exercises: LSVT BIG Movements

Recommendations. A physical therapist can make recommendations for physical therapy at home, at an outpatient facility, or at a nursing or rehabilitation facility.

Work capacity evaluations. Many physical therapists can perform functional capacity evaluations to provide more information for disability claims based on physical performance. This functional capacity evaluation can be useful when the Social Security office denies disability to a person who is unable to work for an eight-hour day.

How Do I Find An Occupational Therapist

Referral procedures depend on where you live and treatment may or may not be accessible through your countrys national health system.

In some countries occupational therapy is prescribed by medical doctors but in others people with Parkinsons can contact an occupational therapist direct without going through their doctor.

Training and accreditation varies throughout Europe so it is best to check the experience of anyone you consult. It is helpful to be seen by someone who has experience of Parkinsons, and always ask for references and the likely costs before treatment commences.

Best Practice Guidelines are available online for occupational therapists working with people who have Parkinsons. ParkinsonNet also provides evidence based guidelines in English.

Your national Parkinsons organisation may be able to provide information based on members experiences. See also, Other Parkinsons organisations.

Using Eating Utensils Designed To Help With Parkinsons Tremors

The first thing to assess is the cause of your difficulty. Is your grip not strong enough? Is your tremor interfering with eating? There are many utensils that are on the market to help people with PD eat more independently. These include built-up utensils that have a wide circumference to hold onto, weighted utensils, and stabilizing utensils, which contain sensors that detect the force and direction of a tremor and move to counteract the tremor. My recommendation as to which is best really depends on the person. Weighted utensils can work well for some people with tremor. My favorite weighted utensils are manufactured in stainless steel by Vive Health. They have enough weight in them to really work. Stabilizing spoons can be expensive and they dont solve the problem for everyone.

Positioning is an important thing to consider. Are you trying to eat in your recliner chair or in bed? If so, you will probably find it difficult to get food to your mouth when lying back. The best position for eating is sitting in a supportive chair at a kitchen table. Occupational therapists can assess your positioning and find the best setup for you.

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How Speech Pathology Can Help

Parkinsons can make it hard for people to communicate. A speech pathologist can help you overcome communication problems such as slurred or unsteady speech. They can also try to stop new problems from developing.

The speech pathologist may:

  • Suggest exercises and techniques to strengthen your voice
  • Help you control your facial expression
  • Help you with swallowing problems
  • Suggest communication aids if talking has become very difficult for you

Services Offered By Occupational Therapy

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In the first visit to the clinic, the Occupational Therapist will carry out the assessment for making the treatment plan. Occupational therapy services include:

  • an individualized evaluation for the treatment, during which the family members along with the patient can determine the specialized treatment plan with the advice of the expert Occupational Therapist
  • The treatment goal is to improve the persons ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals feasibly
  • Regular interventions in the record of the patient to check progress or to make changes in the treatment plan

How is Occupational Therapy helpful in Parkinsons Disease?

Parkinsons disease causes the person to move more slowly than normal. Its symptoms include tightness, pain, and weakness, especially in the muscles and joints. Occupational therapy may help in providing relief from these symptoms. It helps people with Parkinsons disease to stay active in their daily life. Occupational Therapy improves the persons skills, shows different ways to complete tasks, or introduces to handy equipment. The Occupational Therapist helps to perform normal day to day activities comfortably and easily. An Occupational Therapist may also recommend a few changes in the home or workplace to promote their independence.

Role of Occupational Therapy

The role of the occupational therapist is to provide assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:

Indo Global Physiotherapy

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What Is Occupational Therapy And How Can It Help With Parkinsons Disease

Occupational therapy is a branch of rehabilitative medicine that focuses on the performance of the activities required for independent daily living. like those mentioned above and others.

Occupational therapists who specialize in PD are experts in devising ways to help you maximize your movement and quality of life. In the past, we interviewed PD occupational therapists who specialized in:

Unlike physical therapists who help with improving body movements, as well as strengthening balance, body alignment and range of motion, occupational therapists focus on the activities and tasks of daily life to promote independence and productivity. Plenty of people with PD will work with both types of therapists as part of their treatment plan.

How A Parkinsons Nurse Can Help

In the initial stages of Parkinsons, a Parkinsons nurse can provide advice and support to help you come to terms with the diagnosis. They can educate you and your family about the various symptoms of Parkinsons and can suggest strategies to manage symptoms. As Parkinsons progresses they can offer guidance on managing medications. A Parkinsons nurse can also refer you to other health care professionals for more specialist advice.

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Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines For People With Parkinsons Disease

Whitney Henderson, OTD, MOT, OTR/L,Erin R. Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L,

Julia Wood, Whitney Henderson, Erin R. Foster Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for People With Parkinsons Disease. Am J Occup Ther May/June 2022, Vol. 76, 7603397010. doi:

What Is Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy & Parkinsons Disease

Occupational therapy can help people with Parkinson’s disease stay active in daily life. By improving your skills, showing you different ways to complete tasks, or introducing you to handy equipment, an occupational therapist can help you perform everyday activities with greater ease and satisfaction. An occupational therapist may also recommend making changes to your home or workplace to promote your independence.

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Occupational Therapy For People With Parkinsons

Second edition

The last eight years have seen a rapid growth in the evidence base across a broad range of treatments for Parkinsons, including evaluation of the impact of occupational therapy.

This second edition of guidance for occupational therapists will help practitioners to deliver effective and evidence-based care when working with people living with Parkinsons.

Accessing Nutrition And Dietetics

Seeing a dietitian will not be necessary for everyone who has Parkinsons. However if you have noticed changes to your weight or energy levels, increasing constipation or poor eating habits, then you may benefit from visiting a dietitian. Acting on these issues early will help to lessen their impact.

Support for you

  • Your GP or specialist can refer you to a suitable dietician
  • The Fight Parkinsons Health Team can also provide advice about dieticians that may be suitable
  • Email:

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Physical Therapy Strategies For Parkinsons Disease

PT can improve daily functioning for people living with PD by:4

  • Improving gait, or the way a person walks
  • Improving transfers, like going from stillness to activity
  • Improving balance
  • Strengthening joints and muscles to improve physical capacity

One of the ways physical therapists help improve gait is through the use of cues. Cues are stimuli from the environment or generated by the person that they can use to facilitate repetitive movements, like walking. Cues can be:4

  • Auditory, like using a metronome or music
  • Visual, such as stepping over stripes on the floor
  • Tactile, like tapping on the hip or leg
  • Cognitive, like using a mental image of the length of a step

Occupational Therapy For Parkinsons

Physical Therapy in Greenlawn

When you have Parkinsons disease, limited mobility can make simple tasks like getting dressed or taking a shower much harder. Occupational therapists teach you the skills you need for daily life whether youre at home, work, or out with friends.

A therapist will evaluate your home, office , and daily routine to pinpoint areas where you could use help. Some things an occupational therapist can teach you include:

  • how to use a walker, cane, and other walking aids if you need them
  • how to keep your balance when you walk
  • tips to stay focused when you walk to avoid falls
  • easier ways to get in and out of bed, and out of the shower or tub, without falling
  • tricks to get dressed, bathe, and do other self-care tasks with the help of grabbers and other assistive devices
  • tips to make daily activities such as cooking, eating, and housecleaning easier

An occupational therapist can also recommend useful changes to your home. These changes will make your home safer. Examples of these changes include:

  • a roll-in bathtub if you use a wheelchair
  • lower counters

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How Does Occupational Therapy Help Mental Health

This can have a significant impact on an individuals ability to engage in activities of daily living that are meaningful and lead to productive daily routines. Occupational therapy is an essential profession in helping people with mental illness learn the skills needed to live a full life.

What can an occupational therapist do for Parkinsons disease?

Occupational therapists can work with people with Parkinsons and their families to provide guidance, support, and guidance throughout their journey.

Physical And Occupational Therapy For Parkinsons Disease

As PD progresses, most people experience worsening of their motor skills. This includes difficulties with posture, balance, and walking. Worsening motor skills can lead to:4

  • Loss of independence
  • Fear of falling
  • Increased social isolation

PT and/or OT are often used along with drugs for people with PD who are experiencing limitations in their activities. This can include things like personal care, work, and leisure activities. These therapies may also be recommended when the caregiver of the person with PD is having difficulties supervising or supporting the person with PD during daily activities.1

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How Ot Can Help Improve Your Quality Of Life Throughout The Stages Of Parkinsons:

In Stage I of Parkinsons, tremor and other movement symptoms are mild and typically affect one side of the body. OT during Stage I can address:

As Parkinsons progresses to Stage II, tremor, rigidity and other movement symptoms impact both sides of the body and posture and walking are also affected. OT during this stage can address:

  • Stretch to warm up before dressing. Allow plenty of time to get ready before going out into your community. Use adaptive equipment to make dressing easier, such as a long handle shoe horn, elastic shoe laces, button hook, Velcro closures on shoes and clothes, etc.
  • Toileting. Use a regular schedule to help prevent accidents. Use pads, briefs or panty liners to help with incontinence. Use plastic or washable pads for bed.
  • Exercise Training. Continue large amplitude exercises as you are able.

In Stage III of Parkinsons, symptoms include loss of balance and slowness of movement, and falls are more common. Though the person living with Parkinsons is still fully independent, symptoms significantly impair activities of daily living such as dressing and eating. To help during this stage, OT can address:

In Stage IV of Parkinsons, symptoms are severe and very limiting. Tremor may be less, but rigidity and freezing can profoundly affect your quality of life. While its possible to stand without assistance, movement may require a walker. OT during Stage IV can address:

How Can Occupational Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease

Occupational Therapy – Parkinsons Disease

For Parkinson’s disease, occupational therapy generally provides assessment, treatment, and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Arm and hand therapy
  • Driver evaluation and vehicle modification information
  • Cooking and homemaking adaptations
  • Ways to make the most of your energy
  • Computer modifications
  • Workplace or work equipment modifications
  • Leisure skill development

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How To Treat Parkinsons Disease Symptoms With Occupational Therapy

Parkinsons disease can introduce all types of challenges into your daily life, including those that interfere with simple activities that you used to take for granted such as eating, writing, and using a cell phone. Sometimes medication changes can help you move more easily, but sometimes that is not enough.

Ot Encompasses Several Different Areas:

  • Activities of Daily Living . These are the basic self care skills of eating, dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting and toilet hygiene and personal care devices .
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living . These include the care of others, care of pets, financial management, driving and community mobility, health and medication management, meal prep and clean up, religious and spiritual activities, shopping, safety and emergency maintenance, etc.
  • Functional Mobility. This includes getting around your home and environment to perform your daily activities, transfers to bed, toilet, bathtub/shower, couch, recliner chair, wheelchair and car, etc.
  • Adaptive Equipment. This includes long handle utensils to reach your feet or back, tremor management eating utensils, non skid mats, button hook, lidded cup with straw, scoop dish, adaptive pen, etc.
  • Work Activities. This includes work station set-up/ergonomics, adaptive devices to make it easier to perform work tasks .
  • Cognition. This includes activities to stimulate cognitive function to maximize performance .

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Enabling A Cell Phones Accessibility Settings

Smartphones have many accessibility settings. An iPhone, for example, has numerous features for people with vision, motor, hearing and learning challenges. Click on the Settings icon and select Accessibility to see all the options.

Experiment with all the different settings that can help make using your smartphone easier. For example, you can set up your smartphone so that it responds to voice commands. You can also use speech-to-text on many smartphones or take advantage of the word prediction software. You can set up your cell phone so that it will ignore multiple touches or respond only to the first or last place that you touch. You may have to try different settings to see which one or combination best helps you use your cell phone.

Always remember, slowing down and avoiding multitasking while trying to use your phone can help minimize mistakes.

The above is just a sampling of what an OT can help you with. OTs can also help you better navigate additional daily tasks like dressing, bathing, and more.

How Does Occupational Therapy Prevent Disease

LSVT for Parkinson

Occupational therapists facilitate clients ability to adapt and organize their daily occupations or activities related to personal care, home management, community involvement, education, work and/or leisure in daily routines to prevent and minimize dysfunctions, promote and develop a healthy lifestyle

Are they working on a cure for Parkinsons disease?

Parkinsons disease has no cure, but medication can help control your symptoms, often dramatically. In some more advanced cases, surgery may be advised. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, especially ongoing aerobic exercise.

What foods should patients with Parkinsons disease avoid?

There are also certain foods that a person with Parkinsons disease may wish to avoid. These include processed foods such as canned fruits and vegetables, dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and low-fat milk, as well as those high in cholesterol and saturated fat.

What does an occupational therapist do?

What occupational therapists do. Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of daily activities. They help these patients to develop, recover, improve and maintain the skills necessary for daily life and work.

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Help With Funding For Adaptations

Occupational therapists can advise and help arrange funding for minor home adaptations if you need them, such as fitting grab rails or hand rails by steps and stairs.

If you need advice about more expensive home adaptations, such as stairlifts, or accessible bathing facilities, you should speak to an occupational therapist based in a social services department, or the health and social care services of a local authority. They may advise you on any funding available. However, major home adaptations, such as installing a level-floor shower are often subject to means testing.

How Does Physical Therapy Help Parkinson’s Disease

Physical therapy cannot cure Parkinson’s disease, because at this time, neurological damage cannot be reversed. But therapy can help you compensate for the changes brought about by the condition. These “compensatory treatments,” as they’re called, include learning about new movement techniques, strategies, and equipment. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to strengthen and loosen muscles. Many of these exercises can be performed at home. The goal of physical therapy is to improve your independence and quality of life by improving movement and function and relieving pain.

Physical therapy can help with:

  • Balance problems
  • Immobility
  • Weakness

Important note: Some physical therapists may apply diathermy to relieve muscle aches and pains. This could be dangerous to patients who have deep brain stimulators.

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How Many Physical Therapy Visits Will I Need

Treatments in physical therapy often can be completed in one to three office visits. The first appointment includes an evaluation and recommendations for exercises. The following appointments check your progress and review and expand your home program. Most hospitals can provide additional sessions of outpatient therapy if needed.

How Can You Help Someone With Parkinsons Disease

Effective Parkinsons Disease Exercises | Occupational Therapy

This guide to good practice aims to: 1 Place the person with Parkinsons disease and their family at the center of all occupational therapy interventions. 2 Support occupational therapists in the holistic assessment and treatment of people with Parkinsons disease. 3 Introduce new and condition-specific occupational therapy interventions.

What should you know about occupational therapy?

What is Occupational Therapy? The use of treatments to develop, recover or maintain daily life and work skills in people with a physical, mental or developmental condition. A client-centered practice that places great emphasis on progress towards client goals.

When to see an occupational therapist for PD?

People with PD can and should continue to do the activities they enjoy doing. If the symptoms of PD bother you, an occupational therapist can help. Together, you will set realistic goals, identify challenges and strategize solutions. Identify what is important to you and find a way to keep doing it.

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