Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Dressing for Parkinson's Disease Can Be A Snap

Adaptations for daily living injuries, neuro-motor, autoimmune diseases
Here's the thing, when you are on the PD journey there are going to be some bumps in the road, potholes and detours, sinkholes.

There are ways to make the day run more smoothly. Yes, I know you hate starting the day with the same meds routine just so that you can make it through the rest of the day. You guys should be glad that you only have to brush your teeth and your hair, you can always grow a beard if you don't want to shave but at least you don't have to put on makeup as well or lop off your hair because it is too difficult to curl/straighten/wave/mousse/defrizz/blow dry/whatever.

Getting dressed - there are a few speeds for that and none of them is out of 2nd gear. My husband allows 30 minutes for putting on clothes although it only takes him 15 or 20 minutes to do something which used to take less than 5 minutes.

Why so long? You know the answer - stiffness - a hand that doesn't work well any more - pulling when he should be easing off - trying to make the clothing behave to his will rather than going with the flow. And having someone remind him to ease off, to use the mirror to see what is skewed, twisted, backwards doesn't help. Because it isn't fair, getting dressed should be easy and it shouldn't beat you up.

People forget that in the pre-PD days they used to ask for help with a tricky cuff button or a sticky zipper. So what? Because now you have to sit to put on a pair of jeans and if they aren't shaken out just so, they won't let your legs in. And you fight the jeans as if they were the illness.

Getting dressed should not have to be a destination.

You can flex your fingers every day by practicing on buttoning and unbuttoning or picking up small pieces of pasta, squeezing a ball between your fingers, typing, playing the piano or scritching the cat.

You can try alternative clothing or dressing aids, snaps instead of buttons, velcro instead of zippers, prebuttoning cuffs, zipper aids. They're out there.

Laces too difficult? Slip-on shoes may not provide the safest support but velcro securing a slip-on style does. Go with the flow.

And one of the things we found is that there are some sites with very helpful items to make the daily routines just brief stops along the day. Lo___ng handled combs and brushes. Deep soup spoons with rims to prevent spillage from a shaky hand. Cups that limit the amount of fluid, prevent spills and allow room for your nose. Bath & shower chairs, adaptive kitchen aids which allow for a fist grip and one handed use.

We change and then we adapt in order that everything does not have to change as much.

Links to online stores which sell adaptive items:
The thought and consideration that has gone into the design of many of these items is impressive. These make good gifts to yourself and to others.
The Elder Store.com
Life Solutions Plus
Wright Stuff
Freedom Living Devices
Active Forever

We'd love to hear your adaptations - send an email or post a comment below

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