Exercise And Healthy Eating
Regular exercise is particularly important in helping relieve muscle stiffness, improving your mood and relieving stress.
You should also try to eat a balanced diet containing all the food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy.
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Workplace Accommodations For Parkinson’s Disease
- Flexible work schedule – for example, starting later or finishing earlier to avoid traffic if travel is difficult. Or attending meetings from your desk rather than in person.
- Reduced hours – your employer may offer you a part time work schedule or allow for scheduled breaks throughout the day to help you manage fatigue.
- Adjusting duties – removing tasks that are difficult such as physically intense tasks or tasks with fine motor control. Reducing high stress tasks may also help with managing symptoms.
- Improving accessibility – your employer may improve accessibility for you by providing things like a car park close to the building, handrails and automatic doors.
- Remote work – working from home may reduce accessibility issues and help you manage fatigue better.
- Time off for medical appointments – this may include counselling or therapy as well as doctors appointments.
- Ergonomic equipment – making your work station more suitable such as having an ergonomic desk and chair with arm supports may assist with stiffness and mobility.
- Assistive technologies – technologies such as speech recognition software, hands free phone and speech amplification may assist you to perform your job well.
Examples and solutions
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Why We Believe This
There are many people with Parkinson’s of working age. One estimate is that there are more than 17,000 people living with the condition aged 20-64 across the UK.
A diagnosis of Parkinson’s is not the end of someone’s working life. It is a long-term condition and many people have full and independent working lives for many years.
However, Parkinson’s can impact on many aspects of daily life as the condition progresses.
People with Parkinson’s tell us that their employment experiences mirror those of the wider population of disabled people. And they want to see disability discrimination challenged.
Home Gadgets For People With Parkinsons Disease
Living with Parkinsons disease can make many everyday tasks more challenging. The progressive brain disorder causes symptoms like muscle stiffness, tremors, and trouble with balance and coordination. That means things like drying your hair, opening jars, and even sipping a drink might not come as easily as they once did. The following 10 nifty gadgets can help make mundane activities feel uneventful againreducing your risk of making a mess or hurting yourself, while enabling you to maintain your independence for longer. Ready to go shopping?
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Finding New Jobs For People With Parkinson’s
- Your interests, skills and experience – Can you use your skills and previous experience in a new role? Will you need to undergo further training and education?
- Your limitations and challenges – Will your symptoms affect your ability to do the job? Think about adjustments and assistive technologies that might help you overcome the challenges.
- Transport issues – How will you travel to and from the workplace? Will you need to live close to the place you work or is there the possibility of working from home?
- Hours and work schedule – How many hours do you want to work? If maintaining a full time schedule is not possible, you may be able to find part time or flexible work opportunities. Will you need time off for medical appointments, therapy or support groups? You may prefer a job that has a flexible schedule.
- Workplace environment – What type of workplace do you work best in? Consider the accessibility, stress levels, flexibility and physical demands of the workplace and any adjustment that may help you.
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability For Parkinsons
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer on how long it will take you get to get disability benefits for Parkinsons.
After your initial application is complete, it will take the SSA around 3-5 months to get back to you with a decision regarding your claim.
The exact time varies depending on the time it takes for you to get all of your medical records and information over to the SSA to make a decision.
If the SSA denies your application, you are able to appeal the decision, but that will prolong the time it takes for you get disability for Parkinsons.
The more medical evidence and documentation you have to support your claim with Parkinsons, the shorter time it could take for you to get the benefits you deserve.
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What To Tell Your Boss And Coworkers About Parkinsons
This webpage suggests learning enough about Parkinsons disease to be able to answer questions before telling your boss or coworkers. There are several talking points for dealing with misconceptions and concerns. Then, understand your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act, before asking specific questions of your companys benefits personnel.
If You Can No Longer Work
If you can no longer work, finances often are top of mind. If you are already of retirement age and are fully vested in your pension, you will probably retire much as if you would if you did not have Parkinson’s disease. Some pension plans include medical benefits that may even cover prescription medications. In some cases, you may be eligible for early retirement, which generally reduces the amount of your benefits by a percentage that depends on how many years away from full retirement you are when you stop working.
You also may have a 401 or other retirement savings plan that you’ve been contributing to while working. Under certain circumstances, you may tap into these funds before age 59-1/2, but there may be penalties or taxes that make this undesirable.
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Seek The Counsel Of A Social Security Attorney When Applying For Disability With Parkinson’s Disease
If you or a member of your family has been diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease, the symptoms which prompted the diagnosis may also serve as the qualifications for Social Security Disability benefits.
With the amount of documentation necessary to prove the presence of these qualifying criteria, it would likely be in your best interests to have your case evaluated by a Social Security Disability attorney who may be able to help with your claim.
While the degree of impairment caused by these symptoms may seem obvious to you, having them sufficiently documented so their impact is adequately illustrated on paper is imperative to receiving a positive decision from the Social Security Administration.
Working in close collaboration with your healthcare providers, an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can be sure the proper documents are provided when your application is submitted so your benefits can begin as soon as possible.
Parkinson’s Disease And The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act .
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What If I Am Self
The same considerations apply if you are self-employed but you will have to make the decisions that an employer would make.
In some countries, the laws regarding retirement if you are self-employed are not as generous as for those who are salaried. You may therefore want to think about taking out insurance to protect your revenue or find an employed position so that you can benefit from more generous social security schemes as a salaried worker.
Parkinsons Disease And The Work Place
This blog post addresses six things to consider with respect to your job after a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, including whether and when to tell your boss, ways to relieve undue work stress, prepare yourself for having to quit or change jobs, whether any aspect of your PD interferes with your work — even mood and financial planning — both short and long term.
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Complex Parkinson’s Disease And Palliative Care
Complex Parkinson’s disease is defined as the stage when treatment is unable to consistently control symptoms, or the person has developed uncontrollable jerky movements .
These problems can still be helped by adjustment or addition of some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, under the supervision of a doctor with a specialist interest in Parkinson’s disease.
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, you’ll be invited to discuss the care you want with your healthcare team as you near the end of your life. This is known as palliative care.
When there’s no cure for an illness, palliative care tries to alleviate symptoms, and is also aimed at making the end of a person’s life as comfortable as possible.
This is done by attempting to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms, while providing psychological, social and spiritual support for you and your family.
Palliative care can be provided at home or in a hospice, residential home or hospital.
You may want to consider talking to your family and care team in advance about where you’d like to be treated and what care you wish to receive.
When Should I Tell My Employer And Colleagues
You may want to think about the following factors if you are considering when to tell your employer:
- the relationship you have with them if its a good relationship you may feel comfortable telling them early on
- the nature, extent and progression of your symptoms. For example fatigue, poor handwriting, tremor, or difficulty with gait or balance may make it hard to perform some of your roles
- the nature of your job and your ability to continue it safely. If your Parkinsons is a risk to the health and safety of you or another employee you should tell your employer
- the stage of your career and your financial commitments and family responsibilities
- the importance to you psychologically of working. If work brings self-esteem and fulfilment you may be more reluctant to stop.
If your symptoms are not really noticeable you may choose to postpone telling anyone at work, but if you have to cover them up you may find this stressful and stress can make some Parkinsons symptoms worse. However well you think you are hiding symptoms, they may still be noticed and others may draw the wrong conclusions if you do not explain.
You may understandably feel apprehensive about telling people for fear of a negative response or perhaps loss of entitlements, promotion opportunities, or your job. But it can be helpful to tell your employer and colleagues early on as their support can make continuing to work much easier. They may also be able to make adjustments for you.
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Transferring Your Skills To A New Role
- A man who works as a tradesperson in a large company is finding it difficult to keep up with the physical demands of the job. His employer supports him to complete a training and assessment course at TAFE so that he can transition into a training role for new employees.
- A beautician is finding it difficult to perform fine motor tasks and cope with the fast paced environment of the beauty salon. Her employer agrees to transition her into a part time managerial role where she can focus on scheduling and customer service tasks.
- A salesperson can no longer keep up with the fast paced environment and physical demands of the job. He decides he would like to work from home to manage his symptoms better. His employer transitions him into a role writing for the company’s blog and producing content that they can publish online.
What We Learned About Parkinsons Disease And Employment At A Recent Apda Conference
I broadened my knowledge of these issues while attending the APDA Parkinsons Midwest Congress in St. Louis on March 14, a Parkinsons educational symposium organized by the St. Louis Chapter of APDA. One excellent session was entitled: Young Onset Parkinsons Disease Panel of Experts Discussing Disclosure of Diagnosis, Job Accommodations, Assistive Technology, and Disability. The three experts who presented were a social worker with expertise in the PD community, Terri Hosto, an employment lawyer, Janine M. Martin, and an occupational therapist with a focus on helping people with disabilities navigate the workplace, Debbie Turley.
Here are some of the pearls that I learned during the session that you may find helpful. And read on for some personal scenarios based on real patient stories to learn how some people with PD navigate this part of their lives.
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Our Commitment To Equity Diversity And Inclusion
We are strongly committed to inclusion and diversity within its community and welcomes all applicants including but not limited to:
- visible minorities
- LGBTQ2S+ persons
- all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas
We are committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act . If you require accommodation for disability during any stage of the recruitment process, please indicate this in your cover letter.
What Are Workplace Adjustment Agreements
When you and your manager have agreed on some reasonable adjustments, it’s a good idea to put them in writing. This is often referred to as a ‘tailored adjustment agreement’ or ‘workplace adjustment agreement’.
The purpose of recording this agreement is to:
- make sure that you and your employer have an accurate record of what has been agreed
- make it easier to continue your reasonable adjustments if you change jobs, move to a new location in the organisation or get a new manager
- give you and your line manager a chance to discuss your reasonable adjustments at any future meetings, such as your regular catch-ups or one to ones.
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Legal / Financial / Insurance
This page gets you thinking about planning for your financial future and your employment situation with links to more detailed pages on each topic. Tips and resources for getting your financial affairs in order, your rights under the ADA, Social Security and long-term care insurance and information to help you do some creative insurance planning.
Modifications And Adaptations In The Workplace
There are several modifications that can be made to the workplace to enable someone with PD to continue to work effectively. Occupational therapists can be a valuable resource and provide individual recommendations for adaptations or assistive devices to a persons workplace. Some common adaptations for the workplace include:
- Allowing a flexible schedule and/or flexible use of leave time to accommodate symptoms like fatigue
- Allowing an individual to work from home
- Reducing the amount of walking required or providing a scooter
- Installing an ergonomic work station
- Providing voice-recognition software instead of typing
- Providing speech amplifiers1,3
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Free Case Evaluation For People With Parkinson’s Disease
All too often, claimants are denied Social Security benefits based on missing, inaccurate, or incomplete paperwork. As a result, the applicant must then begin on the arduous disability appeal process. Unfortunately, the this process is long and slow, resulting in excruciating delays.
A Social Security Disability lawyer can make sure you have the documents you need the first time, saving you the hassle and the delay of a lengthy disability appeal process.
To speak with a qualified Social Security Attorney about your chances of getting Social Security benefits, request a free disability evaluation today.
Parkinsons Spoon Uses Control Theory For Good
When we first saw design for a self-stabilizing spoon for people suffering from Parkinsons disease, we wondered how well something like that could work. But take a look at the video below and youll see this does a fine job of responding to the users hand movements and keeping the spoon perfectly level through a wide range of motion.
Theres at least one commercial product that attempts to stabilize a spoon in the same way so that people suffering from that affliction can retain a measure of independence. This shows that you dont need injection molding and factory made boards to prove the concept. An MPU6050 provides sensor information and two servo motors control the spoon using PID control.
This isnt the first bootstrapped assistive spoon project weve seen. We even looked at the commercial version, awhile back.
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Parkinson’s And The Workplace: 5 Tips From Our Community
Using personal accounts from those with PD, five tips are offered for talking about your diagnosis at work, making a plan about accommodating your workload, exploring gadgets and software to make working with your symptoms easier, dispell misconceptions about PD, and getting coworkers and your employer involved in the race for the cure.