There are many advantages to being online when you have Parkinson's. These include:
- handling day-to-day correspondence, such as with your healthcare professionals and other local support. This can be particularly useful if you have problems with handwriting
- managing your banking and shopping online, which can save time and may be helpful if you have limited mobility or live in a remote area
- keeping in touch with your friends and family through email, social media, instant messaging and video calling, such as Skype
- sharing experiences with other people affected by Parkinson's through online communities and social media
- being able to search for information about Parkinson's and other subjects of interest.
The information below gives advice on tailoring your technology to your needs, as well as advice on using computers, smartphones and other devices.
As well as desktop computers and laptops there are other devices, such as tablets and smartphones, that you can use to access the internet.
There are also many ways you can adapt your devices, using assistive technology, equipment, software and apps, to suit your specific needs and abilities.
AbilityNet can help you get the most out of your technology.
AbilityNet is a charity that provides expert advice on using computer technology for people with Parkinson's and other disabilities.
You can speak with an adviser on their free helpline by calling 0800 269 545 or emailing [email protected]
AbilityNet also have specially trained volunteers that can make home visits and advise you on how your technology can be adapted to suit your specific needs.
Their online My Computer My Way is a step-by-step guide to individual adjustments you can make to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The 'Motor' and 'Cognitive' sections are particularly relevant for people with Parkinson's.
AbilityNet has plenty of other information on their website too. Click any of the links below to view their information on the following topics:
- Parkinson's and technology fact sheet (introductory information)
- Tech tips to help people with Parkinson's (YouTube presentation)
- Keyboard alternatives
- Mouse alternatives
- Tips for using Ipads and Iphones when you have tremor and other dexterity problems (blog)
- Voice recognition fact sheet
- Voice recognition: Talk, and they will listen... (blog)
As well as AbilityNet, occupational therapists can offer you advice on assistive technology and adaptations.
For other useful organisations, including training on using computers and the internet, see the 'useful contacts' section below.
Your local public library or adult education college may offer computer courses.
Details of these can often be found in local libraries, or by contacting your local authority's education office.
If you have a basic knowledge of computers, you can build these skills using tutorials available online, or via e-learning courses.
For instance, learndirect offers a variety of IT and other courses for people with internet access that can be completed at home or at a variety of local learndirect centres.
You can contact learndirect on 0800 101 901.
- AbilityNet - Offers information to disabled people on how to use computers and the internet (0800 269 545).
- Age UK - This charity runs taster sessions where older people can learn to use computers and the internet (0800 169 6565).
- Barclays Bank Digital Eagles – Free online courses to teach you about technology, internet safety and other digital tips.
- BBC Webwise - Has useful guides to social media, computer basics and a selection of online courses.
- Digital Unite - Home tuition and campaigns to promote the benefits of being online to older people (0800 228 9272).
- Disabled Living Foundation – Offer help on daily living equipment and assistive technology (0300 999 0004).
- Learn My Way - This organisation offers online courses on using a computer and basic internet skills.
- UK Online Centres - These centres offer various online resources and community groups (0800 771 234).
- Which - This organisation offers independent buying advice on computer equipment and internet service providers.
Find someone who understands
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