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Technology Tips from a Parkinsons expert:)

“February is short and sweet.” - Charmaine J Forde

Meet Jojo a Boxing 4 Health member whose inspiration and fight against Parkinsons is contagious. She's going to jump into my blog's from time to time to share her experiences with PD and some very useful tips she continues to find. Jojo's positivity will you give you hope to continue fighting your fight. YOU GOT THIS!

Welcome February! I love this month as March is just around the corner which means that spring is not far away. Let’s not forget Valentines Day and chocolate fondue, whether you are single or not, it can be a fun day.

It is a new Year. I am excited to share some of my discoveries on line and research for tools to assist my challenges. You see, when diagnosed with PD, it was quite a shock and later on I needed more resources to cope with my challenges than joining Parkinson’s Canada association and following Michael J Fox foundation. This brought me to share what worked for me.

Let’s reflect on how we can improve our challenges and set some realistic goals for 2022. I have been frustrated with movement disorders and after researching tools to assist me, I discovered and am excited to share with you tools , tips that might help some of you. To illustrate this, have a peek at the short video. (Attached)

Technology Tips and Tools

  1. Meditation: I keep repeating this and will not stop. When you allow the nervous system to reset, you will be able to manage stress, anxiety and frustration. That being said, continue taking medication on time and notice the “on and off” period. For example, i make sure i just took my medication for better result. I thought i would never be able to continue this practice which my husband and I have been doing for a few years. I persisted and started five minutes guided or non guided Lying down at first. Now, I finally can do this in the lotus position sitting for 20 minutes. Accept that it will not always be perfect and sometimes you find yourself frustrated and that is ok. The key here is to be consistent and persistent. I am an Apple fan and yes you can find on Apple fitness meditation. It is guided but i assure you it works. You must clear your mind + take your medication as scheduled by your physician.

  1. Movement Therapy: Boxing 4 Health, spinning, walking, snowshoe, cross-country skiing, etc…Simply move if you can. If it feels too cold just remember there is no such thing as bad weather it’s only bad clothing choices.

  1. For those who wear makeup: The mechanics of application without stability makes it very difficult to achieve great results. Quite a few times i had challenges with my mascara and eyeliner. Let’s just say, a few times i became Chucky’s doll’s face.“Chuckle”. What is my trick? You need stability and if you place your elbows, on the table, it will enable the body to better manage the upper body tremors. An occupational therapist can give you strategies to help you.

  1. iPhone Features: The IPhone has some very interesting and little known accessibility features. And that’s good, because if you are like me, you can forget about holding a device in your hand to text, write emails or take notes. Any movement disorder or tremors makes it difficult. Thanks to Apple’s innovative features, you can dictate rather than type. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Mac, just press on the microphone icon at the bottom right of the keyboard. Yes, it takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it is sooo beneficial. And it is not only for people with PD either; anyone can benefit from this feature. In the attached video, I shall demonstrate this fabulous feature.

  1. Reading Stand: I love reading but holding a book was very challenging and I found that I kept losing my place. So after some research I found an adjustable lap-stand which provides a stable platform for reading a book. As a bonus, I find that it also works well for scrolling on my iPad or iPhone, and as a lap-sized table for my hubby to munch on snacks while watching TV.

  1. iPad Keyboard: Like many people, I have an iPad. But here again, holding these with tremors does not work. Fortunately, this year Santa brought me a keyboard that can be easily attached to, or detached from my IPad. Now, typing on these devices is much, much easier.

  1. IPad / iPhone Stand: You all know that doing a FaceTime or Zoom call holding a device is catastrophic and even funny. Fact: With upper movement disorder and essential tremors it does not work. FaceTime revealed itself in many funny situations during the Xmas virtual call or even with friends. Hey, laugh about it, humour is very important and will release a dopamine and serotonin response to your brain. Recently my Husband and I found some stands that keep our devices stable and at eye-level for great video conferencing, and with the detachable keyboard noted above, I can use my iPad as a portable desktop computer. Whooo ! See my video, I will explain and demonstrate.

  1. PD LifeKit App. The Parkinsons LifeKit is your personal Parkinson’s companion and is worth downloading. It helps you track your medication and symptoms. Helping you and your medical providers optimizing your treatment. It helps you tracking your symptoms and patterns over time. It tracks your dyskinesia, tremors , emotional state, memory, voice quality is a daily tracking to add in your reminders list. Yes, reminder list is essential as you have a notification for your morning medication, making your bed, exercising, etc.. Place a checkmark on your task list and instantly you get a natural boost of dopamine sent to your brain.

  1. Apple Watch: This is another great device that can track hourly, daily, weekly and yearly your vital signs like blood pressure, oxygen, heart rhythm and detecting falls calling 911 within 2 minutes. Now my dear friends, you have not seen me moving because I cannot for the moment. Thanks to this watch, it detected Atrial Fibrillation and brought me last week to the cardiologist clinic and testing was done. An appointment with the cardiologist to know my results is scheduled in 2 weeks. Since 2019 before diagnosed with PD i had this monitoring after an irregular heart beat was detected on a routine ECG. Immediately i set up my watch to monitor and notifying when if irregular heart beat is occurring. I was sure it was my medication but i was mistaken. These features can literally save your life. Thank you Apple.


PD Avenger

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