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Charting Your Course
With Parkinson's Disease Care

By Kristine Dwyer
(Page 3 of 3)

Bedroom Solutions:

Consider the need for an electric hospital bed with a trapeze for movement and increased independence. This can be rented monthly through Medicare and a co-insurance policy.

Try nylon or silk pajamas for ease in turning in bed.Use a bed guardrail for safety and support.

Dressing for Success:

Velcro Hush Puppy shoes are easier for the care receiver to put on and take off. Turn a lace-up shoe into a slip-on shoe with elastic shoelaces.

Purchase pull on boots with zippers for winter.

Use a long-handled shoe horn with a spring hinge.

The care receiver will have warmer feet and avoid falling by wearing slipper socks with rubber treads over regular socks. Thin stockings vs. cushioned sole socks are better on carpeted surfaces.

Sport pants and elastic waistbands ease dressing woes for the caregiver and care receiver.

Visual Cues:

Magnifying sheets, magnifying glasses, large wall clocks, talking watches and natural spectrum lamps help those with impaired vision and encourage independence.

Enriching Activities:

Review photo albums and old greeting cards.

Read the comics.

Listen to music and books on tape.

Enjoy walks in the park when able.

Create a memory box filled with past treasures or items that encourage reminiscence.

Display things around the home that bring joy such as family photos, childrenís art work, and holiday decorations. This display also helps with time or seasonal orientation.

Consider attending a Parkinsonís disease support group together.

As one can see, revising care procedures and modifying your home can promote successful caregiving. In addition, these ideas will uphold the dignity and independence of the care receiver. Learn from others who have walked in your shoes and set your sails for a new direction in providing care for a loved one with Parkinsonís disease.

Kristine Dwyer is a Caregiver Consultant and Licensed Social Worker with Carlton County Public Health in Cloquet, Minnesota. She is also a past and current caregiver for family members. Barbara Churchill has been a caregiver throughout her lifetime and is a mother of seven children. Our hope is that this joint article can reach and positively influence caregivers and care receivers with Parkinsonís disease across the nation.

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