Parkinson's disease can make bathing, grooming and toileting very difficult. This is because of the common symptoms, which include balance issues, tremors, slowed movement and stiff muscles. Fortunately, it is possible to make these daily tasks easier while still maintaining a certain level of your independence. Here are some helpful tips:
Daily Task: Bathing
- Make sure your tub has a non-skid bath mat made out of rubber to help prevent slips while bathing.
- Consider having a shower stall installed in the bathroom since it is easier to use than a shower and tub combination. Otherwise, you need to have a transfer bench to help make getting in and out of the tub easier.
- Make sure handrails are installed in the shower area.
- Consider using soap on a rope for easier grasping and washing.
- Make sure you have a cordless phone in your bathroom in case you need assistance after falling.
Daily Task: Grooming
- Make shaving and brushing your teeth easier by using electric products.
- Purchase a hair dryer stand to use so that you don't have to wear yourself out drying your hair with your hands and arms above your head.
- When grooming, make sure you are sitting down. This will help you conserve much-needed energy while also reducing the chances of falling.
Daily Task: Toileting
- Avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine. This increases the number of times you will need to urinate.
- Avoid drinking anything for roughly two hours prior to going to bed.
- Attempt to use the bathroom on a schedule, such as every two hours.
- Make sure to have a bedpan or portable urinal in the bedroom for nighttime urination.
- Consider using incontinence products, such as pads and briefs, if you have problems making it to the bathroom in time.
- Think about having a bidet installed. This can be a separate piece or can be mounted onto your current toilet. High-quality bidets come standard with warm water spray and even a dryer, which can make cleaning yourself up after using the toilet a lot easier.
While a lot of these options can help you early on, home health care may need to be considered when your Parkinson's disease progresses. Some may even prefer to use the above-mentioned advice with the help of a home health worker at the same time. The most important thing is that you do what it takes to keep yourself safe from harm.