Empowering Those with Parkinson's: World Parkinson's Day and Beyond

Empowering Those with Parkinson's: World Parkinson's Day and Beyond

Every year on April 11th, awareness is raised for World Parkinson's Day. This neurodegenerative disorder affects millions globally, impacting their movement and quality of life. Today, we honor those living with Parkinson's and explore how to best support them.

Understanding Parkinson's Disease:

Parkinson's occurs when nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter, begin to deteriorate. This decline disrupts the brain's ability to control movement, leading to tremors, stiffness, balance problems, and slowed movement. Although Parkinson's is not fatal, it's a progressive disease, meaning symptoms worsen over time.

Living with the Challenges:

The daily struggles faced by those with Parkinson's can be far-reaching. Tremors can make tasks like eating, writing, and dressing incredibly difficult. Rigidity can lead to a stooped posture and difficulty walking. Speech may become slurred, and cognitive decline can also occur. The emotional toll of living with a chronic illness can be equally heavy, causing frustration, anxiety, and depression.

Empowering Support and Daily Living Aids:

Despite these challenges, there is hope. Numerous resources and strategies are available to help those with Parkinson's manage their symptoms and maintain independence. Here are some ways we can make a difference:

  1. Medication:

Medication remains the cornerstone of Parkinson's treatment. While it doesn't cure the disease, it can significantly improve symptoms and quality of life. 

  1. Physical Therapy:

Regular physical therapy sessions can help maintain flexibility, improve balance, and strengthen muscles. These exercises help individuals continue to move with confidence and ease daily activities. 

  1. Occupational Therapy:

Occupational therapists can assess individual needs and recommend specific tools and techniques to make daily living tasks easier. This might include recommending adaptive utensils, button loops on clothing, or shower chairs for improved safety.

  1. Daily Living Aids:

A variety of simple tools can make a big difference in everyday life for those with Parkinson's. Here are 6 examples:

    • Weighted Utensils: Help manage tremors while eating.
    • Large-Handled Cutlery: Offers a more secure grip and facilitates maneuvering utensils.
    • Sock Aid: Helps individuals put on socks without bending over, which can be difficult due to balance issues.
    • Button Loop Dressers: Eliminate the frustration of fiddling with buttons.
    • Medication Organizers: Ensure timely and accurate medication intake.
    • Adaptive mealtime bibs: Bibs with crumb catchers & waterproof fabric minimize spills & tremors for a dignified, stress-free meal.

Beyond Medical Intervention:

Support plays a crucial role in managing Parkinson's. Family and friends can offer invaluable emotional support,  help with daily tasks, and advocate for the individual's needs.  Additionally, joining a Parkinson's support group can connect individuals with others facing similar challenges, fostering a sense of community and shared understanding. 

My grandpa worked after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s up until 3 months before he passed away at 87! The daily routine and keeping himself busy helped him stay active. 

World Parkinson's Day: A Call to Action:

World Parkinson's Day serves as a powerful reminder that we're not alone in this fight. By raising awareness, advocating for research funding, and actively supporting those living with Parkinson's, we can create a world where this disease no longer steals mobility and joy. 

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s you can find further information here:

Empower Mealtimes: Shop Dignified & Easy-Care Clothing Protectors for Parkinson's.

Back to blog

Leave a comment