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Parkinson's Disease

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Common Sense Recommendations

  1. Adding banisters in hallways and along walls can make it easier for a Parkinson's patient to get around.
  2. Chairs and sofas that are equipped with higher arms make sitting down and rising more manageable.
  3. Thick carpeting offers protection in falls, common with Parkinson's patients.
  4. Bring the toes tip with every step you take. In Parkinson's disease, "you never make a move", without lifting the toes.
  5. Difficult tasks such as buttoning a shirt or getting out of bed can be made easier by repeat practice.
  6. Spread the legs (10 inches) when walking or turning, to provide a wide base, a better stance, and to prevent falling.
  7. For greater safety in turning, use small steps, with feet widely seperarated. Never cross one leg over the other when turning. Practice walking a few yards and turn. Walk in the opposite direction and turn. Do so fifteen minutes a day.
  8. Practice walking into tight corners of room, to overcome fear of close places.
  9. When the legs feel frozen or "glued" to the floor, a lift of the toes eliminates muscle spasm and the fear of failing. You are free to walk again.
  10. To insure good body balance, practice rapid excursions of the body: backward, forward and to the right and left. Practice for five minutes, several times a day. Don't look for a wall when you think you are failing. It may not be there. Practice this balancing exercise daily to protect yourself from falling.
  11. Swing the arms freely when walking. It helps to take body weight off the legs, lessens fatigue. and loosens the arms and shoulders.
  12. If getting out of a chair Is difficult, rise with "lightning speed."  This will overcome the "pull of gravity." Sitting down should be done slow, with body bent sharply forward, until one touches the seat. Practice this at least a dozen times a day.
  13. If the body lists to one side, carry a shopping bag loaded with books or other weights in the opposite hand to decrease the bend.

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