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Charting Your Course
With Parkinson's Disease Care

By Kristine Dwyer
(Page 2 of 3)

Clothes or furniture:

Washable sheet protectors and chair pads can be used to save on constant laundering. For full protection, layer several pads on the bed or chair.

Floor Safety:

Use a Swiffer-type dry and wet mop on the floors for easier cleaning.

Do not use throw rugs, but if the floor surface is slippery, use a short-napped rug with a rubber backing.

Personal Safety:

Purchase a whistle from a hardware store, tie it onto a long piece of elastic and place it around the care receiverís neck. This can be used to call for help, especially if the caregiver has a hearing deficit. Place another whistle near the bed or toilet if needed.

Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) can be rented monthly to summon help when the caregiver is out of the home.

Alarm systems can be purchased from medical supply companies and installed at exit doors and on wheelchairs to prevent wandering or falling.

Transfer or restraining belts can be used to keep the care receiver secure in the chair when the caregiver has to leave the room. It can also be used to assist in safely helping the care receiver out of bed or a chair.

Mealtime Options:

Canvas aprons can be purchased at craft stores. Cut the ties off and replace with elastic on the top to enable the care receiver to put it on without help. Vinyl or quilted bibs/aprons can also be purchased from medical supply companies. Place the bottom half of the apron underneath the plate for neater mealtimes.

Use cups or glasses with lids and straw holes to prevent spilling. A two-ha ndled cup with a spouted lid can also be kept by the bedside.

If the care receiver has tremors, buy shallow soup bowls and edge guards for plates to keep the food contained.

Purchase utensils with weighted, built-up or angled handles to help hands remain steady.

Car Ideas:

Car seats made of leather are easier to access and to clean.

Consider purchasing a swivel seat cushion to ease car transfers.

Purchase a handicapped vehicle parking permit ($5.00) through the driverís license bureau and have it authorized by the physician. Use the permit at any handicapped parking zone or at any meter in the city.

Pack a car tote bag. Include a package of wet wipes, bibs, a change of clothing, incontinent pads, plastic garbage bags, and water.

Eat in the car and park near a scenic area to enjoy the meal and the view if dining in a restaurant becomes too difficult.

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