Be mindful of these guidelines
Falls are common to people with Parkinson’s disease. Use some of these safety tips to help prevent or avoid falls and other injuries.
- Always keep one hand free when walking. This will allow you to grab on a chair when about to fall and will allow you to break the force of the fall.
- Try to swing both arms as much as possible while walking. This increases balance and stability when moving.
- Try to lift the feet while walking to prevent shuffling and chances of tripping.
- While standing and walking, keep legs slightly apart. This improves stability by distributing weight evenly and over a larger area through the legs and feet.
- Breaking down the sequence of walking and carrying out each sequence consciously may help to walk steadily.
- Certain cues may be used while walking to prevent freezing .
- Wearing correct footwear is important. Low heeled shoes are best.
- Move slowly when getting up from the sitting to the standing position and wait a few seconds before starting to walk.
- While turning do it slowly, taking a slightly curved path.
- Avoid getting distracted when walking.
- Use walking aids such as walking sticks or frames if necessary.
- Floors should be smooth without being slippery.
- Special care should be taken to see that the walking area is free. Small objects coming under the feet can be very dangerous.
- Care should be taken to see that children and pets do not come in the way when the person is walking.
- Furniture should be in their proper places with enough space around them to be able to move around easily.
- Placing small rugs on the floor should be avoided.
- Enough lighting in all places and night lights in the bathroom and hallways are a must.
- Light switches should be within easy reach from the bed.
- Avoid using the stairs as much as possible. Hand rails should be there on both sides of the stairs.
- Extension cords and wires on the floor should be avoided as much as possible to prevent chances of tripping over them.
- Walking aids should be placed nearby and within easy reach of the patient.
- Emergency phone numbers, especially of family members or neighbors who may be called if necessary, should be programmed in the mobile phone and land phone for easy accessibility.
- Fire hazards such as heaters, candles or oil lamps should not be around.
- Grip bars should be placed at strategic positions around the house and especially in the bathroom around the toilet, bathtub and shower areas.
- Use non-skid bath mats and a bath chair or stool in the shower.