One of the most important things to do while living with Parkinson’s disease is to stay active and engaged in some sort of therapy. The biggest challenges faced by those living with Parkinson’s disease are movement, balance, speech and depression. Staying physically active when living with the disease may help to address these challenges.
The key is to do activities that challenge the heart and lungs. Choose exercises that continuously change tempo, activity and direction so that your body can be constantly moving and shifting in different ways.
Some activities that offer this type of movement include:
- Couples dancing – like the tango or the waltz
- Boxing classes
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
In addition, medication compliance and timing also helps with movement in Parkinson’s patients.
At Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, we monitor medications closely so we can improve “on” times, when medications are working well. This makes it easier for Parkinson’s patients to move and function. By doing this, and by having patients aware of the most beneficial times to take their medications, mobility can be enhanced, which leads to increased independence in performing everyday activities.
The National Institutes of Health shows evidence to suggest that non-compliance with medications results in poor response to therapy and can even increase direct and indirect health care costs.
It’s a two-pronged approach, and each part is important – movement and medication. By focusing on both together, individuals with Parkinson’s disease can expect to improve their movement, balance and overall quality of life. QCBN
By Brian Shaw, OTR
Brian Shaw, OTR, is the director of therapy operations at Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital.
Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital provides specialized physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from or living with disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. The hospital is consistently ranked in the Top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationally by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR) and is nationally certified by The Joint Commission in stroke and brain injury rehabilitation.
For more information, visit MVRRH.ernesthealth.com.
3700 N. Windsong Drive • Prescott Valley, AZ 86314 • 928-759-8800 • www.mvrrh.ernesthealth.com