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Living alone with Parkinson doesn't mean YOU ARE ALONE!

Living alone with Parkinson disease requires extra care
Living alone with Parkinson disease

A lot of people are living alone with Parkinson disease. However, living alone with Parkinson doesn't mean that you are alone. In the UK, we are a community of more than 145, 000 people living with it. So you can't say you are alone. The challenge that we all have to be able to stay connected is that we need to adapt to our circumstances.

Here are a few tips for making everyday tasks easier to manage:

  • Personalize your living space to meet your needs according to the most frequent symptoms you have. The ability to organise your own space is one advantage of living alone. Put important items where you can see and reach them, so you can find what you need when you need it.

  • Have a pair of pliers on hand. This multi-purpose tool can aid you to open jars and bags, to grip small objects, reach awkward places, hold wires, bend loops, and attach wires.

  • Modify your phone's settings. There are numerous options for making smartphone use easier. Consider enabling the following features to improve phone control and connectivity:

    • Touch Accommodations: This feature modifies how your device's screen responds to taps, swipes, and other gestures.

    • Voice Commands: Voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant reduce the need for you to use your hands to operate your phone. These tools can be used to launch applications, make phone calls and dictate text messages.

  • Develop a schedule based on your good/bad moments of the day. Schedule your commitments around the times of day when you feel the best. Determine how many tasks you can typically complete on a "good" or "bad" day to avoid overscheduling. Set timers for your medications so you don't forget to take them on time.

  • Reach out to your support network. When faced with a difficult task, seek assistance. Even if you can care for yourself, delegating some responsibilities can help you save energy for things you enjoy, such as hobbies or social interaction.

Now, we all know that Parkinson disease is a degenerative one, which over time worsens our symptoms and impact our mobility. It is paramount to keep ourselves safe in the present, but also think about staying safe over time. Few things that come to my mind are:

  • Start thinking about the tools that will help you have control over important life decisions such as selecting an assisted living facility or nursing home later on.

  • Start thinking about signing an insurance service. This document appoints someone you trust as your proxy and authorises them to make health-care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

It may be difficult to admit you need help after living independently for many years, but safety should always come first. If you're having difficulty moving around your space or completing daily tasks, talk to someone you trust about changing your living situation.

If you are living alone and you have Parkinson, please share with me how you manage your symptoms around. I'll be interested to learn from you.


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