Here are some key elements for living well with Parkinson’s that will have a positive impact on your wellbeing:
Medications have to be taken on time, every time. Medication management is important to make sure you maximise your “on” periods and reduce the amount of “off” periods. Any changes to your medication must be discussed with your specialist or GP.
There are some medications that can cause impulse control disorders such as hyper-sexuality, shopping, gambling, drinking, stealing, porn addiction, cleaning, and more. This is something we recommend you discuss with your specialist.
There’s no magic diet, but everyone’s diet should be full of colour fresh fruit and vegetables (hello fibre!).
Water intake is something that can help enormously with symptom management. At least 1.5 litres per day unless a medical condition prevents this. Coffee and tea do not count towards fluid intake but water with cold tea infusions can be a way to make the taste more exciting (no caffeine and no sugar).
Loss of bladder control can be a challenge for people with Parkinson’s because of the unusual messaging to the brain. Do not avoid water intake as it will compound continence problems. Seek advice from your support team, to help manage incontinence and refer you to specialist support.
Simple measures such as ensuring sufficient fluid intake (water mentioned above), monitoring bowel function and acting on the early signs of infections or constipation are very effective.
Exercise is amazing. It’s non-invasive and has so many positive outcomes that have been clinically proven. Exercise improves pain and stiffness; it helps challenges with cognition and thinking and can slow down cognitive decline. Exercise encourages neuroplasticity and creates new neural pathways, helps to get slow bowels moving, and it helps with fatigue and energy levels. We highly recommend an exercise program prescribed by an Exercise Physiologist to ensure it is tailored to your needs.
Depression and anxiety can be one of the more difficult non-motor symptoms to deal with. There are safe medications that can actively manage anxiety and depression. If isn’t managed, apathy can become overwhelming; self-care and nutrition is ignored, social isolation can increase, and quality of life is reduced. Medications can be discussed with your specialist and our team can support your mental health and wellbeing through counselling, recreational and support groups, exercise programs and the Be Well coaching program that focuses on wellbeing and resilience.
Changes in saliva, eating habits, medications, and dry mouth can increase problems with teeth and gums. Check-ups can prevent any problems and infections.
Together. Fighting Parkinson’s.
At The Hospital Research Foundation Group – Parkinson’s, we are committed to helping you build your wellbeing plan with you, your family, specialists and other allied health professionals to ensure you are making active choices, maximising your independence and have the support, education and services you need.
Living Well Education
Living Well Education Sessions
These provide topic-based seminars aimed to educate and inform, to help you to continue to live well. These topics are presented by expert guest speakers, with topics changing annually based on community need and interest.
Taboo or Not Taboo Education Series
These are topic-based seminars that are often not discussed as openly as some other living well topics. We aim to educate and inform, and provide an open, safe from judgement arena to discuss topics such as sexual dysfunction, impulse control disorders and depression. These topics are presented by expert guest speakers, with topics changing annually based on community need and interest.