Energy Conservation for Parkinson’s patients

Why is it that a decline in energy is common with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s?

                There are a variety of factors that can lead to an increase in fatigue with Parkinson’s, including: stress, muscle stiffness, impaired sleep, depression and even certain medications.  Parkinson’s symptoms create a decrease in efficiency of the body to move and function during regular activities making the body work harder than it would normally.

Ways to conserve energy:

1)      Schedule your day:

a. Plan out scheduled rest breaks

b. Plan your daily activities around important daily activities

i.      Ex- if you have a long day filled with doctors’ appointments, sit down during dressing and bathing in the morning to save your energy

2)      Sit when able:

a. Sit to groom

b. Sit to dress

c. Sit to bathe

d. Sit to complete simple meal preparation

3)      Use adaptive equipment:

a. Reachers to grab items too low or too high

b. Kitchen carts to decrease the amount you have to carry

c. Dressing aides: Button hooks, sock aids, elastic shoe laces and dressing sticks

d. Bathing: Long-handled sponge, shower chair and hand held shower head

e. Household work: use long-handled cleaning supplies (such as Swiffers or dust brushes)

4)      Ask for help and divide up household responsibilities to others that can help

Important Reminders: With implementation of energy conservation strategies, you can be safer and more productive with your daily activities.  Ask your Occupational Therapist for explanations or further suggestions of energy conservation strategies.