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Parkinson’s Disease And Occupational Therapy

What Does A Typical Occupational Therapy Session Involve

Occupational Therapy & Parkinsons Disease

The first session will usually involve an assessment to establish how your Parkinsons affects you. You and your therapist will then create a treatment plan, laying out what you would like help with, and setting goals for what you want to achieve.

What happens in a follow-up session will depend on what your specific issues and goals are. It could involve:

  • trialling equipment and practising different ways to do things, to improve your safety and ability to carry out daily activities
  • practising specific movements repeatedly, in order to create new habits and behaviours and help manage Parkinsons symptoms, such as slow and smaller movements
  • learning relaxation techniques, or building your confidence for when you are out and about

Occupational Therapy And Carers

Occupational therapists can advise your carer and family how to support you in staying independent. They can also advise on ways to look after their own health.

It is important that your family and carers are also involved in, and understand, any changes the occupational therapist recommends to your usual routines. Getting help and advice from an experienced therapist can reduce the amount of help you need from your family or carer and so alleviate any pressure they may feel.

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How Can Occupational Therapy Help Parkinson’s 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 Can An Occupational Therapist Help

Occupational therapists are specialists who promote health and well-being. In PD, their primary objective is to enable patients to participate in the activities of everyday life by working with them to improve their ability to engage in tasks they want to, need to, or are expected to do. In many cases, this may require modifying an occupation or the environment to better support occupational engagement.

These therapists provide assessment, treatment, and recommendations in areas such as:

Occupational therapists may also help with changes in relationship dynamics by promoting the maintenance of normal roles, daily routines, and social habits as much as possible. They provide support to patients to continue working, and serve as a link between a patient and the workplace. Therapists also help with social, recreational, and leisure activities, and driving. .

Parkinsons News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

How Long Does The Lsvt Program Last

Occupational Therapy and Parkinsons Disease

The LSVT BIG program is 16 sessions: four consecutive days per week for four weeks. Each session lasts one hour. There is daily homework practice as well. Once a person graduates from LSVT BIG with the skilled therapy sessions, the recommendation is to continue the exercises daily.

At our clinic, we have occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology all under one roof. Occupational and physical therapy combine to provide the frequency of services each week, which allows us to address a vast number of a persons concerns in that four-week period.

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How Physical Therapy Treats Parkinsons Disease

Are you living with Parkinsons Disease? It is no secret that a neurological disorder such as this can be limiting and debilitating, forcing you to find new ways to manage your daily life. While this can be frustrating, physical therapy can help improve your function so you can get back to living your life on your own terms!

For more information on how our in-home physical therapy plans can help you find relief from the comfort of your own home, contact our Neurological Division clinic today!

Lifestyle Redesign For Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a neurological condition that can cause a variety of motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms . Most people living with PD experience challenges to the ways that they participate in their daily routines and meaningful activities. What may feel like a loss of independence can be an incredibly frustrating experience. However, working with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers and making lifestyle changes as part of a comprehensive plan, can help many living with PD to improve functional abilities and overall quality of life.

Through the Lifestyle Redesign program for PD, our occupational therapists collaborate with you and your loved ones to create a plan for a healthier lifestyle to support sustainable changes, improve activity participation, and manage PD successfully. You will learn how to manage symptoms and integrate physician recommendations into your daily habits and routines in order to cultivate a sense of empowerment for healthier living with PD.

We can help you to:

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Physical Therapy For Parkinsons

Physical therapy is a program that helps you build strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. It starts with an evaluation of your current abilities to locate the areas of movement causing you problems.

The therapist will teach you exercises and other techniques to improve your strength, coordination, balance, and movement. During physical therapy sessions, you might learn to:

  • get in and out of bed or a chair more easily
  • stretch your muscles to improve your range of motion
  • walk more smoothly, without shuffling
  • go up and down stairs
  • use a cane or a walker to help you get around

To get the most out of your physical therapy sessions, find a therapist with experience treating Parkinsons or similar disorders. Therapists who are board-certified neurologic specialists should have this type of training. Ask your neurologist to recommend someone.

Certain types of physical therapy can help with movement issues caused by Parkinsons disease. Here are a few of them.

What Benefits Can Occupational Therapy Have For People With Parkinsons

Parkinsons Disease Exercises to Improve Standing and Walking | Occupational Therapy

For people with mild to moderate symptoms, therapy focuses on:

  • being more aware of how you move and perform different motor skills. For example, putting on your shirt or getting in and out of the car, which you would have done automatically before being diagnosed with Parkinsons
  • helping to overcome any difficulties with multi-tasking
  • promoting general mental and physical wellbeing, such as encouraging regular and Parkinsons-specific exercises
  • the use of mental, visual and auditory cueing techniques to make your ability to move and the quality of the movement better.

For people with more advanced symptoms, occupational therapy will also focus on:

  • preventing falls and being able to move around safely
  • establishing safe ways for someone to move from one surface to another. For example, getting on and off your chair, bed and toilet
  • reviewing your needs around seating, wheelchairs and other specialist equipment

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How To Exercise With Parkinsons

Whether youre a first-time exerciser or a lifelong athlete, the key to working out with Parkinsons is to safely and regularly move your body in a variety of ways. Your fitness regimen should include these four main categories of exercise:

  • Aerobic activity
  • Balance, agility, and multi-task exercises

People with Parkinsons should strive to perform aerobic activity at least three times weekly and to complete exercises from the other categories two to three times each week.

In total, the Parkinsons Foundation suggests performing 150 minutes of moderate tovigorous exercise weekly.

To help you achieve this goal, try these helpful tips:

  • Invest in a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike. This will make it convenient to perform aerobic exercise from your home, regardless of the weather.
  • Obtain a set of light hand weights from a local exercise shop or thrift store. These can be used for a wide variety of strength training exercises.
  • Follow along with one of the many online exercise classes on YouTube that are tailored to people with Parkinsons disease. The Parkinsons Foundation and the Davis Phinney Foundation offer many great online exercise videos.
  • Connect with a workout buddy by finding a local Parkinsons support group associated with the American Parkinson Disease Association

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Treating Parkinsons Disease With Aquatic Therapy

Physical therapy and exercise regimens, like hydrotherapy, are quickly becoming prominent methods for treating a variety of illnesses, including neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinsons. Hydrotherapy adds specific advantages for many Parkinsons patients. As someone who owns or manages a physical therapy clinic, you can introduce aquatics for your existing Parkinsons patients. It may even help you attract new Parkinsons patients to your facility.

After Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease is the second most common neurological condition American adults face. Physicians often treat the disorder with heavy medications, which potentially yield unintended or unwanted side effects.

You may be wondering, Is aquatic therapy effective for Parkinsons? Hydrotherapy offers an alternative form of treatment which can be used in combination with drug therapies to produce improved results.

Aquatic therapy has been used to help people like Virginia Bishop, who suffered from Parkinsons disease as well as multiple sclerosis. She used aquatic sessions to increase her activity levels, improve core strength and build stamina. Her results included regaining the ability to tend to daily tasks, as well as play the piano.

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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 Occupational Therapy Help People With Parkinson’s Disease


Occupational therapists can work with people with Parkinson’s Disease and their families to provide advice, support and guidance during their journey. For some they may require advice on a specific item of equipment whilst for other clients we are involved in more substantial home modifications and support as their needs change with the progressing condition. Below are some ways that an occupational therapist can help:

How we can help

We aim to solve the difficulties associated with Parkinsons Disease. Some of the common ones we treat are listed below.

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Use Your Personal Strengths

How can you build on your strengths and minimize your limitations? For example, if you have the strength of helping children enjoy reading, you could exercise that strength by reading to your grandchildren, by listening to them as they read, or by playing a reading game that stimulates both your imagination and theirs.

One of your strengths may be thinking skills. One thinking skill is imagining doing the activity before doing it. For example, imagining writing big can actually help you write big. Another thinking skill is speaking the steps out loud. When combing your hair, try saying hold and comb, to avoid dropping the comb.

Make sure you are exercising. Improving strength, balance and endurance through exercise supports your participation in all sorts of activities. Whether it is dancing or walking to a neighbors house, find an enjoyable way to exercise.

Lastly, be positive. Think, I will do rather than Ill try to and you may be more successful.

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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

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Physical Therapy Strategies For Parkinsons Disease

Occupational Therapy – 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

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How Can I See An Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists work within both the NHS and social services settings.

You can also see an occupational therapist privately or you can find out more by visiting the Royal College of Occupational Therapists online directory.

Leah is 49 and shares her experience of occupational therapy.

“I arranged to see an occupational therapist through my local NHS integrated care team. I had started feeling very tired. I was also having trouble getting up my stairs and was concerned about falling.

“An occupational therapist came to my house and completed an assessment to help minimise my risk of falls. One of the main adjustments Ive made since is knocking down my conservatory and replacing it with a downstairs bedroom. I also had a bed guard, a type of rail, fitted to the side of my bed, which I use to pull myself up if Im feeling stiff after waking up.

“Im currently in the process of having a wet room fitted downstairs, which contains specialist flooring and grab rails. My occupational therapist helped me apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant, which will go towards building costs.

“Occupational therapy provided me with valuable ideas and strategies that I wouldnt have been able to teach myself. My therapists focus throughout has been on trying to keep me working and active at home, while meeting both my current and long-term needs. Its been really nice having somebody there who listens and shows a lot of care and compassion.”

Be Your Own Therapist

Which activities are most important to you? Once you answer, try the strategies below to see which ones work for you for each activity.

Use your personal strengths.

How can you build on your strengths and minimize your limitations? For example, if you have the strength of helping children enjoy reading, you could exercise that strength by reading to your grandchildren, by listening to them as they read, or by playing a reading game that stimulates both your imagination and theirs.

One of your strengths may be thinking skills. One thinking skill is imagining doing the activity before doing it. For example, imagining writing big can actually help you write big. Another thinking skill is speaking the steps out loud. When combing your hair, try saying hold and comb, to avoid dropping the comb.

Make sure you are exercising. Improving strength, balance and endurance through exercise supports your participation in all sorts of activities. Whether it is dancing or walking to a neighbors house, find an enjoyable way to exercise.

Lastly, be positive. Think, I will do rather than Ill try to and you may be more successful.

Change the environment.

Adapt the activity.

Which activities do you enjoy and how can you adapt that activity to make sure you can still do it? For example, if you love baking, perhaps substitute complex recipes with simpler ones.

Find an Occupational Therapist

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Managing Symptoms With Our Nationally Recognized Therapy Program

To help you maintain your highest level of function and movement, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has a team of therapists ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. At our movement disorders center, youll be working with therapists who specialize in Parkinsons disease.

Your ability to move can be impacted by a range of issues, from motor skills to your cognitive abilities and mental health, so we have a variety of therapy options to keep you as safe, mobile and independent as possible.

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Enabling A Cell Phones Accessibility Settings

Occupational Therapy Exercises For Parkinsons Disease

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.

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All Parkinsons Disease Treatment Options To Help You Manage Your Pd

November 1, 2022 by Zach Galati

What are the treatment options for Parkinsons disease? Parkinsons disease treatment options range from exercise and lifestyle changes to medications and medical procedures. Below are all of the different Parkinsons disease treatments to discuss with your Movement Disorder Specialist.

Parkinsons Disease Treatment Options:


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