Parkinson's disease is a disorder that leads to stiff, shaky movements and difficulty with balance and coordination. As symptoms progress and worsen, people may have trouble with talking and walking. People may also live with behavioural challenges, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties and fatigue. Parkinson's disease occurs when neurons or brain cells responsible for controlling movement function improperly or die.
Occupational therapists work with clients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease to enable them to participate in daily activities. A critical component to occupational therapy is helping clients maintain or improve wellbeing and independence.
Occupational therapists provide therapy treatments such as:
-client education and coaching strategies to support walking and standing independently
-complete home safety assessments and suggest assistive devices such as mobility aids
-educate clients on the risk factors related to falls and recommend strategies to prevent falls
-practice transfers such as stand-to-sit or sit-to-stand, which may be used when transferring to use a toilet
-seating techniques to promote proper posture and minimize discomfort
-support clients who may have difficulty with eating and drinking, such as sitting posture, lighting, and minimizing distractions
-encourage self-care routines to promote independence
Reference: Zafar S, Yaddanapudi SS. Parkinson Disease. [Updated 2020 Aug 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470193/