Living a Full Life with Parkinsons Disease


Synergy HomeCare - Boulder

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Posted on

Apr 28, 2023


Colorado - Boulder County

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. The second most common neuro-degenerative disease in the country behind Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease affects millions of Americans. While there is no cure, it is possible to live a full life with the disease.

Commonly known for its movement or motor-related symptoms, such as tremors, abnormally slow movements, shaking, lack of facial expression, involuntary movements or freezing, Parkinson’s disease also has non-motor symptoms like apathy, depression, sleep behavior disorders, loss of sense of smell and cognitive impairment.

One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with Parkinson’s is that everyone’s disease progresses differently. Symptoms can develop slowly over years and the order in which they appear can vary from person to person. That often makes it hard to diagnose, which can be very frustrating. Symptoms to be aware of include slowness of movement and rigidity; difficulty with balance, swallowing, chewing, and speaking; cognitive impairment and dementia; and mood disorders.

The good news is that there are ways to slow the progression of Parkinson’s and preserve a high quality of life. As a gerontologist — someone who specializes in aging — and owner of a non-medical homecare company, I’ve made it a point to help spread awareness of Parkinson’s and share ways to help people with Parkinson’s. SYNERGY Homecare has an educational partnership with the Parkinson’s Foundation and we are fortunate to have access to tremendous information and resources.

One of the most important things to know is that exercise and activity are key. According to the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project, the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s disease through the foundation’s Centers of Excellence network, increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours a week can help slow decline in quality of life.

People living with Parkinson’s disease should also keep up with their therapy regiments. Caregivers can help them stick to prescribed physical therapy exercises, occupational therapy, recommended daily living modifications and speech exercises. This can include gait and balance training, resistance training and regular exercise.

Having a physical as well as emotional support system can make a huge difference for people with Parkinson’s. In the early stages of Parkinson’s, people typically require emotional support more than anything else as they get a handle on having a progressive disease.

In order to preserve a high quality of life, it’s important to let someone with Parkinson’s disease maintain their independence for as long as possible. As the disease progresses, some activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating and bathing, may require workarounds and there are multiple ideas and suggestions for adaptations on the Parkinson’s Foundation’s website such as:


• Tremors can make walking difficult
• Take care of the home, clear things off the floors, arrange furniture in a way that promotes easy access and safety
• Encourage doctor recommended exercises as well as facial exercises
• Activities like singing, dancing, or reading aloud

Basic grooming

• Daily hygiene is greatly affected by hand tremors
• Opt for an electric toothbrush over a manual one
• Opt for an electric razor over a manual one
• If balance is off, try sitting down while brushing or shaving.


• Stand-in showers are much easier to access than tubs
• Shower stools also help, especially when unsteady


• Opt for clothes that are easier to put on
• Elastic waistbands
• Velcro
• Dress the side most affected first
• Avoid button-ups and laces

Ensuring a high quality of life with Parkinson’s is possible thanks to a complementary approach that includes medications, regular activity and modifications for activities of daily living. If you have any questions, please call Synergy HomeCare - Boulder at 303-465-4663.

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Local Services By This Author

Synergy HomeCare - Boulder

Non-Medical 8771 Wolff Court, Westminster, Colorado, 80031

At SYNERGY HomeCare, "CARE" stands for Coordinated And Responsive Engagement. We provide an integrated total solution to meeting your specific care needs. Whether for family members, friends or for yourself, you can be assured of the very best and highest quality care available. As loved ones experience the physical and emotional effects of aging, such as memory-related disorders (dementia and Alzheimers), chronic or acute illness or physical injury; our highly skilled caregivers are there to provide safety, comfort, and dignified assistance. We provide peace of mind and ensure that life at home will continue to be as independent and safe as possible.Call us now, at (303)465-HOME, to learn how our comprehensive CARE approach can help those with supportive needs, continue to live in their own home for as long as they like.