Navigating Parkinson’s Disease (PD)can be a challenge. However, with the recent Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), staying healthy and safe can be additionally challenging. To minimize the functional impact that this pandemic has caused on one’s physical and mental well-being, it is important to follow these simple, practical strategies for success.
Engage in exercise
Exercise has been shown to help with the motor and non-motor symptoms of PD, but has also been shown to help avoid airborne viruses and protect the cardiovascular system. Although social distancing has creating some barriers to attending your weekly exercise groups or physical activities, there are many ways that you can safely exercise at home
Many local communities and organizations are hosting their regularly scheduled exercise programs through virtual meetings such as Zoom®.
Exercise-based programs such as Parkinson’s Wellness Recover (PWR), LSVT BIG & LOUD, SpeakOut! Program have all offered free exercise videos specifically related to PD.
An undergraduate student in the rehabilitation department has pulled together two videos on frequently recommended exercises for PD.
The Parkinson’s Foundation and Parkinson’s Canada have both printed FREE booklets with basic exercises for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.
As part of the PD Health @ Home program, this free 10-part video series focuses each week on one aspect of fitness designed to support people living with Parkinson’s. Created and taught by Parkinson’s expert each Friday. This series is designed to build on itself and is a great tool for people with Parkinson’s, but also for physical therapists looking for ways to properly support and engage clients living with Parkinson’s on the 10 specific fitness topics below
Guest blogger for the Michael J. Fox Foundation offers advice for staying active at home and a variety of online workouts featuring modified and unmodified versions for every fitness level.
Maintain Your Routine
As much as possible, keep your regular schedule, despite social distancing closings. Try to engage in your regular appointments or scheduled social events, just virtually or by other means.
Explore new hobbies, new projects or even volunteer, as engaging in meaningful activities can have tremendous benefits on both motor and non-motor symptoms.
Stay engaged with Others
Social distancing has limited our ability to interact with each out in familiar ways. However, thanks to virtual platforms such as Zoom® or FaceTime, maintaining a social network is still possible. Reach out to your friends and loved ones to schedule some virtual social time.
Get regular sleep
As impaired sleeping is often a symptom of PD, it can be especially challenging during times of crisis. To maximize your sleep routine, it is important to:
- Exercise daily
- Minimize News Intake
- Keep a regular sleep & wake cycle
- Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep, sex or sickness
- Clear your mind
For more information on PD related to sleep tips, visit the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Stay indoors and maintain social distancing as often as possible.
Obtain your FREE hospitalization and safety kit from the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Staying hydrated with water is important during this time.
With grocery delivery, you can stay home and have someone bring your groceries right to your doorstep. Type of services vary by city and county.
More resources and companies are delivering take-out food to your front door in contactless delivery.
Stay informed with the latest Coronavirus information and the impacts on PD through the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Pay Attention to Your Emotions
PD can impact your emotions, leading to increased tendency for depression, apathy or anxiety. With COVID-19, your emotions can be even more fragile. During this time, it is important to reach out for help or speak to someone regarding your emotions.
During this time, many virtual resources are available, including Mindfulness Mondays on Parkinson’s Foundation’s website.
If you are in a crisis or need immediate assistance with your emotional state, reach out to 9-1-1 or one of the resources below.
Text HOME to 741741 for free 24/7 crisis counseling
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.