Parkinson’s disease is caused when 80% of the feel-good chemical dopamine is lost in the brain. Not just a ‘shaking disease’, the main hazard is falling, along with freezing, drooling and unclear speech, a shuffling gait and ‘mask-like’ expression. This can make it very lonely for patients, as they often cannot show emotion, and have a low voice that is difficult to hear. Choking is another risk, so don’t give carrot sticks, veggie hot dogs, chia seeds or nuts etc to patients with PD. Also see the post on how to care for our carers.
- LaserCane, Walk with Path (above) and Walk to Beat are all speciality walking aids, which use obstacles (like red laser lights to ‘step over’) that help to stop freezing, and therefore falling.
- Exercises for Parkinson’s Disease is a book by an acting teacher who uses his knowledge of voice and movement to ‘teach patients’ to walk and talk again. Locals wanted to clone him, so he wrote this instead! Also see Voice Aerobics DVD (by a speech therapist who recommends using tennis bands to discreetly soak up drool) and Bob’s Flunkey (a home invention to help people get dressed easily).
- GyroGlove was invented by a medical student, after seeing a patient struggling to eat a bowl of soup. Users say that it’s like ‘sticking your hand in thick syrup’. Gyenno Spoon and Liftware Crockery are similar to reduce hand tremors. Kangaroo Cup and Handsteady Mug are anti-spill cups.