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Real Talk from Patients

Our Community's Recommendations: Assistance Products and "Hacks" for Parkinson's Disease

Care Partners

With the holidays right around the corner, our community let us know about a few assistance products that might be helpful for navigating the season with Parkinson's disease (PD). Whether you're traveling to see family or just want to make your home more comfortable, these creative recommendations could be useful.

Using utensils can be difficult with Parkinson's symptoms, especially during "off" times, when medication isn't working optimally. Adaptive eating utensils, often available at specialty stores, can help manage tremor, a cardinal symptom of PD.

  • Another option you can use when in the kitchen or on the go is NEATsheets — napkins that are easily attachable to either your shirt or lap. They're disposable and can help keep you free of stains!

Around the home:
Gait freezing in Parkinson’s is the unexpected and sudden inability to start or continue moving. For those who experience this symptom, it can be frustrating. Recent studies indicate that cueing strategies — through the use of adaptive products, for example — can help manage this disabling symptom.

  • The LaserCue, developed with input by Michael J. Fox, is designed to attach to any cane and projects a safe, obstacle-free red line on the floor. The laser projects each time the cane touches the floor, cueing people with Parkinson’s to walk with less hesitation and with longer strides. The product designer has decided to give a portion of proceeds from every purchase to the mission of The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

One community member, Susan R., said on Facebook that adding banisters to both sides of the stairway can help prevent falls. She also suggested keeping walkers present throughout the home to easily navigate to different floors.

Another member, Linda S., said having chairs situated throughout high-traffic areas in the home proved useful, including "Rocking chair on porch before entering. Stool just inside door beside coat rack so they can sit and put coat on/off," she said.

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