Winter can cause additional complications for people with Parkinson's. Cold weather, ice and seasonal illnesses are just some of the things that can make it harder to stay in control.
Making simple adjustments and taking extra precautions can all help with managing the condition at this time of year.
Keep yourself and your house warm
Parkinson's affects the nervous system, which controls body temperature, so people with Parkinson's can be more sensitive to heat and cold.
There's a few simple things you can do to help keep your body temperature up:
- Wrap up warm – inside and outside the house.
- Wear plenty of thin layers, rather than one thick one and wear cotton, wool or fleecy synthetic fibres.
- Wear a hat and bedsocks in bed if you get cold at night.
- Keep active – moving about and getting some light exercise will help you to keep warm.
- Heat all the rooms you spend the day in. Or if you can't keep all the rooms heated, try and keep one room heated for the day and your bedroom heated just before you go to bed.
- Set the timer on your heating to come on just before you get up and after you go to bed.
Ensure you have enough medicine
Talk to your GP and pharmacist to ensure you have enough medication to last you through any periods of severe weather.
Keep an eye on the weather
Check the weather forecast frequently - especially if you are going to be travelling - so that you can plan around any harsh conditions.
The Met Office has up-to-date forecasts and advice.
If you're feeling unwell
Call the non-emergency NHS helpline for advice if you start feeling unwell.
- 111 if you live in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
- 0845 4647 (NHS Direct) if you live in Wales
While some people with Parkinson’s may be at greater risk from such viruses, recommendations to minimise risk are the same for us all. Current information and guidance can be found on the Gov.uk website. This will be updated as the situation progresses.
For people with Parkinson’s, there is no increased risk of catching coronavirus. However, it is important to understand how to manage Parkinson’s this winter. You can read more on Parkinson's and coronavirus in our dedicated news story.
Free flu jabs
People with Parkinson's and their main carers may be eligible for a free flu vaccination. Check with your local GP surgery for more information.
The vaccination reduces your chance of getting the flu, or can make the illness milder and shorter-lived.
If you know someone who has Parkinson's
If your friend, relative or someone who lives locally to you has Parkinson's it's especially important to check on them regularly during cold weather.
Older people are particularly vulnerable at this time of year, so regular contact is key.
Understanding coronavirus and Parkinson’s
Our priority remains supporting people living with Parkinson’s. That’s why we’ve gathered the facts and guidance to help answer some of your most common questions about coronavirus and Parkinson’s.