An older man sits on a stool holding a cupcake in his kitchen looking up at a recipe hung up by a hanger. Senior man

Life Hacks for People with Parkinson's

Since I was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2020, I have been interested in how to make my life easier in my activities of daily living. These tidbits of information are called "hacks".

For example, my entire home, including lights, TV, air conditioner, and entry doors, are hooked up to Alexa. They respond to my voice to turn them on and off. I feel like I am one of The Jetsons! Read on for more life hacks to make living easier for people with Parkinson's.

Around the house

In the bedroom, I use satin or silk sheets and pillowcases on my bed. This makes it easier to slide in, roll on my side and turn over in bed. I also use a half-bed rail that fits under my mattress that I grab onto to lift myself to get out of bed.

In the bathroom, I have a toilet stand, that has arms on each side and fits around the toilet to assist me in sitting and standing safely. In the shower, I do not use a shower mat unless it has suction cups that adhere to the shower or bathtub floor.

I have a shower chair that I can sit on and I had handrails installed to help with my balance. I use a portable battery-operated toothbrush and a water flosser instead of a manual one. I also have a bench in my bathroom so that I may sit while shaving.

My home office is accessible without clutter. The laptop and iPhone are hooked up wirelessly to my printer.

In the kitchen

My kitchen chairs have arms and no wheels. Pull-out shelves in the cabinets help me from bending and falling. A lazy susan is in my pantry that turns and I keep my spices, sauces, and more. All I have to do is turn it to reach my kitchen supplies and it allows me to keep my balance.

When cooking from a recipe, I use a skirt clothes hanger with clips and hang my recipe to it. The top of the hanger is attached to a handle on my cabinet near the stove. A tall stool comes in handy when I stand and cook.

Outdoor hacks

A video doorbell is installed so that I can talk to and see on my cell phone who is at the door. Keyless push-button door locks help me with my dexterity instead of using keys.

I changed the doorknob to enter my home from the garage to a flat horizontal handle. These handles are easier for me to use. My outdoor lights automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. Also, my sprinklers are on a timer.

On my patio, I have raised garden beds which I planted herbs and vegetables. Bending now is at a minimum! Installing handrails leading up to my home assists me with my balance. Falling has decreased too!

My garage door has an automatic garage door opener. I also have a tennis ball on a string attached to the ceiling. This marks the perfect spot so I know where to stop my car.

Make your environment work for you

Having an emergency call button around my neck is important so that if I need help to come to my aid. I don't have any scatter rugs in the bathroom or throughout the house. Changing the doorknobs to flat horizontal door handles helps so that I can easily enter through doors.

These hacks are only a sample of the things you can do to make your life safer and easier when living with Parkinson's disease. Live life comfortably and safely by planning, and having your environment work for you!

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