August 14, 2017
As Parkinson’s disease chews away at our abilities, we learn to adapt, adjust and change to the new realities. One of the ways we do that is by using “things” To make our lives easier, better and in same cases possible. For example, without the 2 grab bars to help us up and down the 4 step stairs between our kitchen and the T.V. room, I know neither Jan nor I (at least during an “off” period) would be able to use both sides of the house. Basically, half the house would be inaccessible. Since both sides have access to some other rooms and functions, that would make our house pretty much impossible to live in.
When I first thought about including “things” in my blog, I envisioned the things to be mostly electronic equipment, apps and devices, stuff that only a few generations have access to. By the time I listed the items I realized that most adaptive aids had been around for quite a while, invented, I’m sure, by people with similar needs and interests. I also realized that all these things are used by people with many other conditions, chronic as well as acute. I’ll just describe the items and make a few comments about them. This will probably take 2 or 3 blogs. I also have a few pictures to illustrate, hope you enjoy this.
I’ll start with the biggest item, a lift chair. I’m only familiar with this one, others may be different. I suspect most people with Parkinson’s may not need this kind chair. I have some other issues that made this necessary for me. There are 2 motors that position the chair for your comfort. The purpose is to allow you to get out of the chair with ease, by lifting the seat so when I was unable to get out of my original “easy” chair, this lift chair became a welcome addition to our home. It works great, it allows me to get out of the chair without too much effort, it has a remote control with an attached cord. The remote has four programmable settings as well as controls to put the back and/or the foot rest in preferred positions. It does all that effortlessly and without complaining, it even lets me sleep quite comfortably but there are a few things to consider.
Lift chair issues
The first issue is size. As you can see in the pictures, it is high. Look at the greenish one next to it. Not a slouch either, but it dwarfs compared with the lift chair. One of the results is that it is difficult to talk with your neighbour. The chair does not pivot to accommodate eye to eye contact. Issue # 2 is that once I am are back far enough to be comfortable, I feel like I’m stuck, I’m in prison, the chair is now the boss. The 3rd, but related issue is that getting out is difficult and slow. You have to push and hold the lift button and it slowly takes you back to the front. If you try to get out earlier you have to fight gravity. Now I am usually pretty slow myself but occasionally I want/need to get out more quickly. Telephone and bathroom are obvious examples. Answering the door is another. I’m sure nobody minds waiting but it just does not feel right.
To buy or not to buy
All in all, a chair worth having, though not cheap, if you really have a use for it. Don’t get it just in case. Wow, I didn’t know I could spend 600 words on a chair, but here it is. Until next time. Casey
My name is Casey Huisman a.k.a. Cees Huisman. I live in Ontario, Canada. Married to Jan. Large family with several children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Siblings and mother are in the Netherlands. Retired from St. Clair College since 2016. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2006. Participate in The Gathering Place Community Church. Supporter of Community Living’s goals of inclusion and empowerment. Usually easy to get along with.
January 14, 2018. In the mid nineteen seventies, a long time ago, Jan (then a…