Healthy Living

How to Be an Encouraging Companion to a Friend or Relative with Parkinson’s Disease

Try an exercise class

Stiff muscles and declined physical ability inhibit and discourage patients from rigorous activity, but challenging exercises are crucial to maintain their remaining strength. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, “Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. However, for people with Parkinson exercise is not only healthy, but a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities” (National Parkinson Foundation). The patient’s physician should evaluate their health and find a plan best suited for them, but in general the National Parkinson Foundation recommends biking, yoga, swimming, aerobics, walking on a treadmill, and resistance exercises. Partnering in exercise with the patient as a supportive friend encourages them to go work out by accountability, takes their mind off the physical discomfort by having someone to talk to, and assures them that they will have assistance if an accident were to occur.