The mobility problems associated with Parkinson’s can make it difficult to prepare and eat meals safely.
We’ve teamed up with Kelly Barmann, OTR/L to get her tips and advice to help people with Parkinson’s continue to cook and eat at home.
In the second article in the series, Kelly discusses tips for safe meal prep that you can use to make cooking easier and safer. At the end, Katrina Kahl, Brian Grant Foundation executive director, will demonstrate a few helpful adaptive equipment tools.
Accidents can happen when people get tired. What are some tips for conserving energy while cooking?
Previously we discussed organizing your kitchen to help with safe meal prep. Now it’s important to talk about how to maintain your energy and stamina while preparing a meal. When we get tired, cognition declines which can lead to accidents. To conserve your energy while cooking I recommend:
What are some tips for preventing falls around the kitchen?
First, I suggest continually working on balance as often as you can. Standing up straight and keeping your posture strong gets harder with Parkinson’s, but there are many ways to improve your stance. Doing so will improve your balance, which is critical to maintaining mobility and avoiding falls. Improving balance and posture will also help you stay flexible so you can sit, stand and reach with less effort and pain.
Your countertops are also useful for helping with stability. You can hold onto your countertops as you move around the kitchen. You can also use countertops to push or slide heavy items. And make sure to keep heavy items in lower cabinets or ask for help lifting heavy items.
Finally don’t forget to have a chair available to take breaks if you’re feeling tired. Also make sure your kitchen area is clear of trip hazards such as rugs.
What are some safe bending movements that people can practice to maintain their ability to prepare meals?
Here are some helpful tips to practice safe bending:
If you have any doubts about whether you can safely lift an object, ask for help. Lifting an object incorrectly or lifting an object that is too heavy can result in an serious injury.
WATCH SAFE BENDING MOVEMENTS DEMONSTRATION
Any other tips you would like to share?
There are many adaptive kitchen tools that can make cooking easier and safer. For example, a kitchen timer is really useful for people with Parkinson’s who may lack a sense of smell that would tell them that something is burning. There are tools to help with cutting and chopping ingredients, opening jars and cans, stabilizing utensils and other items and avoiding burns.
WATCH ADAPTIVE KITCHEN TOOLS DEMONSTRATION
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process of preparing food!
Next up: Tips for eating