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Getting Dressed with Parkinson’s

By , 5:41 pm on

While Parkinson’s patients must face a handful of new challenges, especially as the disease progresses, one of the most common issues arise when getting dressed. Symptoms such as uncontrollable tremors, spasms, and rigidness or stiffness of the muscles make activities that require dexterity like buttoning shirts and tying shoelaces increasingly difficult if not impossible to perform. Fortunately, there are creative strategies and resources that can make this daily activity less stressful for you and your elderly loved one with Parkinson’s.

The following paragraphs include information to ensure quality Parkinson’s care at home; however if you provide care for an aging loved one with Parkinson’s and need assistance as their needs evolve, learn more about in-home Parkinson’s care in Naples before you continue reading.

If your loved one experiences tremors or rigidity that makes the positioning for dressing difficult, ensure that you allow them plenty of time for rest periods during and after the dressing process. By recognizing that the process of getting ready may take longer, you can allow for more time before leaving the house, ensuring they have enough time to complete the task without becoming frustrated.

You can also help your loved one save precious energy by choosing loose fitting shirts or blouses that easily slip over the head or close comfortably in the front. Snaps are the easiest to close for tender and inflexible fingers, but flat buttons or wide zippers may also work well. As Parkinson’s symptoms progress and start to affect the ability to bend at the joints or reach towards the floor safely, you may want to invest in innovative devices like buttonhooks or long shoehorns to promote as much independence as possible with daily care.

Because Parkinson’s often affects balance, sitting in a chair with sturdy armrests while dressing can provide some support and prevent injuries from falls. Use gravity to your advantage and have your loved one lower his or her trousers to the floor, step into them and help them or have them use an extension stick to lift them to the waist. Another option to help make the dressing process easier is by lying on the bed. This way, a senior can also slowly roll to each side of their pants and pull them up over their hips safely.

For many seniors, not just Parkinson’s patients, personal care activities like dressing signify independence. At Home Care Assistance of Naples, we are advocates for our senior clients and act as a resource to their families. We provide specialized and tailored care that allows seniors to remain in the comfort of home, while promoting independence, dignity and respect. For more information about our home care agency or our Parkinson’s care plans, visit www.homecareassistancenaples.com or contact us directly at 239-449-4701.