While symptoms may differ between individuals with Parkinson’s disease, it’s always important to consider safety. Whether to eliminate tripping hazards, stand from a sitting position, or even while walking, these safety tips and tricks can help you stay healthy and safe during your daily life.
Keep Yourself Safe
The below safety tips are helpful to keep in mind when living with Parkinson’s.
General Safety Tips
- Program mobile phones and land lines with emergency phone numbers and other numbers you can call for help
- Post numbers near the phone.
- Use non-skid bath mats and a bath chair or stool in the shower.
General Movement Tips
- Cues such as visual lines (laser lights) may help to overcome freezing when walking.
- Turn slowly, taking a slightly curved path.
- Walking aids should be placed nearby and within easy reach of the patient.
- Keep one hand free when walking in order to grab railings to balance when needed
- Swing both arms when walking to increase balance and stability
- To improve stability, distribute your weight evenly when walking or standing by keeping legs slightly apart
- Wear proper footwear. Low heeled shoes are best
- Use walking aids such as walking poles or walkers if necessary
Standing from a Sitting Position
- Use the “nose over toes” approach when getting up from a sitting position;
- Move to the front edge of the seat
- Lean forward placing your nose over your toes
- Making a fist, push against the chair seat to slowly move up into a standing position
- Wait a few seconds before starting to walk
- Avoid reaching for a walker or cane as the major assistance to help you stand. Walkers may scoot away causing falls.
Eliminating Tripping Hazards
- Floors should be smooth non-slip surfaces.
- Keep walking areas free of small objects, extension cords, and other wires.
- Remove small throw rugs, one of the major tripping hazards in homes.
- Install ample lighting including night lights in bathrooms and hallways.
- Light switches should be within easy reach from the bed.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairways and in the bathroom. Towel bars ARE NOT a substitute for strong, secure handrails.
- Space furniture to allow for enough room to be able to move around easily.