How to Help a Parkinsons Sufferer by Changing your Lifestyle

By: Jeremy Parker

Whether it is you or a loved one that is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease some changes in lifestyle are inevitable, especially when mobility and other symptoms become severely affected. Below are a few ways in which you can help a Parkinson's sufferer to remain fit, healthy and enjoying life.

  • A change in diet to provide a healthy balanced food intake will ensure that both you and your loved one remain at a healthy weight and fitness level. Energy is one of the biggest requirements for someone suffering with Parkinson's disease because the muscles naturally struggle to cope with the extra strain put on them. A lack of energy would result in many muscle movements becoming even further impaired which in turn could lead to a negative attitude and despondency. Vitamins, minerals and beneficial oils can also help but check with the physician first before starting any new diets as some ingredients can react badly with medications used to treat Parkinson's disease.

  • Exercise is also essential to the Parkinson's sufferer because of the need to maintain good muscle tone, strength and posture. Again check with your physician before beginning a new exercise plan but simple activities such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming can be performed often and as a couple which will help to defeat boredom. A qualified sports trainer can often help devise a plan that is enjoyable for you both and that will target the areas that really need help i.e. the limbs and back muscles. As the disease progresses a sports trainer will also be able to suggest low impact exercise routines that will still be of benefit but are not a strain on the body.

  • Making adjustments to your living area will become necessary as time goes on and there are a number of things you can do to make life easier for a person with Parkinson's disease. For example, grab bars can be fitted around the house and in the bathroom, a sit-down shower can be fitted instead of the regular bath, you can lengthen the legs of chairs so that it is easier to go from sitting to standing and vice versa, you can change door and cupboard handles to make them easier to grasp and change the cutlery to a design which is more comfortable to hold. In fact there are hundreds of little adjustments you can make to your home to make life easier and the longer you live with a Parkinson's sufferer the more ingenious ways you will think of to improve their quality of life.

  • Buying clothes with Velcro or zips will help a Parkinson's disease sufferer to remain independent for longer. As the disease progresses and intricate hand movements become more difficult, simple things like doing up buttons can become a chore and very frustrating for both the sufferer and the loved one as they watch the struggle. Similarly, try finding shoes that simply slip on or that have Velcro strips as apposed to laces.




There are many ways in which lifestyle can be changed to help a person with Parkinson's disease lead a normal and active life. Some changes are very minor whereas some are quite an upheaval, for example having the bathroom completely modified. Even so any change to benefit the sufferer is a change well made.

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