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Occupational therapy and Parkinsons Disease

News 3rd October 2018
Occupational Therapy and Parkinsons disease

Occupational Therapy (OT) focuses on helping people of all ages perform daily tasks, which have become difficult to do.

OT practitioners help disabled children fully participate in school activities, they help injured people recover skills and support older aged adults who suffer from cognitive and physical changes.

How can Occupational Therapy Help Patients with Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s is one of the main diseases successfully managed through occupational therapy. People with Parkinson’s Disease experience fatigue, problems in communication and high anxiety levels. These are the main problems that are handled by occupational therapists.

An occupational therapist can help by teaching the patient different relaxation exercises and techniques to lower the energy expenditure used to perform simple tasks.

If the patient has problems with communication, the therapist will use customized strategies and apply a holistic therapeutic approach. Because Parkinsons disease causes chemical changes which control and balance mood, patients suffer from increased anxiety levels. Therapists can help by teaching the patient several coping strategies to reduce stress.

Parkinsons disease also severely affects the mobility and limits the movements of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Usually, therapists recommend that patients avoid talking when they’re moving to guarantee that they focus.

A different strategy recommended to patients is touching a solid object to help in balance when their standing or walking. To prevent falls, therapists recommend paying full attention and focusing on walking. Occupational therapists also teach patients how to change direction without sudden turns to increase stability.

Cognitive changes caused by Parkinson’s disease limit the patient’s ability to learn how new products operate. So, a seating system that is modular, will ensure familiarity.

Therapists highly recommend the FelgainsFormAL Hydroflex because it’s an easily adjustable seating unit, uniquely designed for patients who have mobility problems.

Patients with Parkinson’s disease also experience difficulties with sit-to-stand transfers from chairs, bed-sides etc. Therapists can apply efficient strategies like using appropriate verbal cues and recommending equipment to help in transfers such as riser recliner armchairs, chair risers, rising beds etc.

Occupational therapists may suggest special posture and correct lighting for patients when they’re eating and drinking, to prevent distractions.

Occupational therapists can also recommend changes in relationship dynamics to maintain a normal environment within the family as much as possible. They recommend that patients should continue working and become a link between the patient and the workplace.


If a family member or close friend of yours has Parkinson Disease, make sure you contact a professional occupational therapist.

You should always seek the help of a specialist to achieve the best therapeutic results. You’ll make their life much easier and speed up recovery.