In spring last year, Roger, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago, tripped in the garden and broke his hip. Here he shares how daily living equipment aided his recovery, but has since proved valuable as his Parkinson’s symptoms have progressed.
While clearing some undergrowth, I tripped over a stray stem of wisteria. I fell on to a hard surface and it was immediately obvious to me that I’d broken something.
At the hospital, they confirmed that I had fractured my hip and I underwent surgery the next day. I was given a walking frame with wheels at the front and ferrules at the back, and put to work getting mobile before being discharged from hospital, with the frame. I went home 5 days later.
Shortly after getting home, a small invasion of support staff descended upon me offering bed rails, grab handles for access doors, chair raising devices - it was most impressive!
I had a raised toilet seat installed at home in preparation for my return - this was a pre-condition of my discharge. Shortly after getting home, a small invasion of support staff descended upon me offering bed rails, grab handles for access doors, chair raising devices - it was most impressive!
I found all of this equipment very useful except the bed rails. They were meant to prevent falls and to help me get up in the morning, but I found they mainly got in my way. As I began physiotherapy sessions, I progressed from relying on the frame to using two walking sticks, and eventually to just one stick.
I now have a range of living aids at my disposal which, while not originally provided for my Parkinson’s, are proving really helpful.
So far, I had this equipment because of my hip, rather than because I have Parkinson’s. But over time, it became apparent that my Parkinson’s symptoms had got worse since my fall. In particular, my mobility had deteriorated and, for the first time, I began experiencing occasional freezing.
The result is that I now have a range of living aids at my disposal which, while not originally provided for my Parkinson’s, are proving really helpful. I use my walking stick if necessary when my medication is working well and I am ‘on’, and when I’m ‘off’ I might resort to using the walking frame.
I still have the raised toilet seat - and this definitely makes things easier at 6ft 4in. The same goes for my raised armchair. I also have grab handles at access doors and in the shower.
I have some hopes that medication changes will reduce my need for much of this support but, as things are today, I am very appreciative of having them.