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Equipment: mobility and disability aids

As Parkinson’s symptoms progress you may find you are less mobile and everyday activities become more difficult. There are many types of equipment and adaptations that can help but not all are suitable for everyone with Parkinson’s. It is therefore important to choose carefully and to seek advice as what works for one person may not suit your needs.

If possible get a proper assessment from a relevant therapist before you invest in equipment or pay for a service to help you manage your daily activities it. This can save you wasting money on things that are unsuitable. The therapist may suggest:

  • changing the way you do things to make them easier
  • exercises
  • equipment
  • other treatment.

Who can advise on equipment and aids?

This will depend on what activity you are finding difficult and also the services available where you live. In some countries an occupational therapist may advise on matters that would be covered by a physiotherapist elsewhere, so there may be some overlap between these professions. Your doctor will be able to suggest who you should speak to for an assessment.

An occupational therapist can advise on daily activities such as washing, dressing, eating, reading and writing. They can also advise on leisure activities such as gardening and sport.

A physiotherapist can advise on general mobility problems and may suggest exercises or equipment to help you.

A speech and language therapist can advise on communication aids and devices. They can also advise on swallowing and saliva problems.

If you have difficulty eating, a dietician can also advise on special equipment and also posture to make eating easier.

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