Practical Self-Help Tips

  • If you experience difficulty getting into and out of chairs, use a chair with solid arm rests. Also try placing two-inch blocks under the back legs of the chair, since a chair that is tipped forward slightly is easier to use.
  • If possible, remove all doorsills throughout the home, since this is a primary cause of falls for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Make sure that handrails on staircases are continuous and securely fastened on both sides.
  • If you experience hand tremors, use an electric razor.
  • Remove any accent or area rugs. They can be replaced with a floor mat with nonskid backing or wall-to-wall carpeting in a color that contrasts with the walls and fixtures.
  • Use grab bars in the tub area and next to the toilet and use a bathtub bench or shower chair when bathing. If you need more support, use a toilet safety frame or a raised toilet seat.
  • Lower the rods in your closets, so you don’t have to reach too high for an item of clothing.
  • Use a rocker knife, available in independent living catalogs, for cutting and slicing. As you rock the handle up and down, the sharp, curved blade slices through the food.
  • If you eat slowly because swallowing is difficult, use an insulated dish to help keep food warm.
  • Use a plate or food guard, available in independent living catalogs, to keep food from falling off the edges of your plate.
Reproduced with permission of APH Press, American Printing House for the Blind, from Maureen A. Duffy, “Additional Health Conditions” in Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home After Vision Loss, pp. 99-100. Copyright 2002 by American Foundation for the Blind. All rights reserved.

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