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Winter Tips from the National Parkinson Foundation

Excellent information offered by the National Parkinson Foundation:

Winter often brings unexpected weather and for many, the shorter days can lead to vitamin D deficiency, increasing chances of developing seasonal depression. The good news is that NPF’s Ohio Chapter has gathered these tips to help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their caregivers ensure that PD-related needs are accounted for this winter.

Falls Prevention

Parkinson’s can affect mobility, memory and thinking skills. People with PD may experience tripping or “freezing” episodes that can lead to falls. Add snow and ice to the equation and winter can be an especially dangerous time. To stay safe this winter:

  • Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles.
  • Take off shoes as soon as you return home. Snow and ice attach to soles and as they melt lead to slippery conditions inside.
  • Shovel the path to your door, garage and mailbox to clear them of leaves, snow or ice. If possible, ask someone to shovel for you.
  • Be realistic and ask for help walking outside when you need it. Don’t let pride lead to a fall!
  • Use salt before or immediately after a storm to melt icy sidewalks and steps. If you don’t have salt, cover the ice with something gritty or non-slippery (like sand or cat litter).
  • Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go in winter weather. Taking your time reduces your risk of falling, especially if you use an assistive walking device.

Seasonal Depression

With depression as a common PD symptom, people with Parkinson’s should be conscious of their increased susceptibility to seasonal depression, which can be brought on by the cold and grey or the potential isolation of the winter months. Keep reading this and more at the National Parkinson Foundation website!


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