Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease: Part 2

Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease: Part 2

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with PD each year and the incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age.

In this mini-series, Allied Services Speech Language Pathologist, Nicole Pelosi, looks at aspects of communication that can be affected by PD and offers tips that can supplement speech therapy to improve quality of life for people living with PD.

Cognition and Communication

Cognitive-communication problems can result from Parkinson’s Disease. This can include difficulty with memory, thinking, or attention. One might find it more difficult to focus during a conversation or have increased difficulty multi-tasking. A person with PD might have difficulty remembering information or report a ‘slowness’ in their memory or thinking. A speech-language pathologist can help a person with PD through education and incorporation of memory strategies into daily life.

Useful strategies for improved cognitive-communication skills with PD are:

  1. Use a planner to keep track of appointments
  2. Write things down – use a phone, notepad, dry erase board, etc. to make reminders
  3. Set alarms – use a phone or other alarm to be reminded of important events such as when to take medications
  4. Designated areas – designate an area to store important items such as keys and wallet

Learn more about treatment options for Parkinson’s disease at Allied Services.

About the Author: Nicole Pelosi, MS, CCC/SLP works with patients at Allied Services in outpatient, inpatient and home based care settings. Primarily, Nicole serves patients at Allied Services Wilkes-Barre Rehab Center. She possesses a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association. Nicole serve individuals of all ages with a variety of diagnosis including CVA, TBI, post concussive, Parkinson’s disease, Voice Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Autism, language delay/disorders, articulation disorders, and phonological disorders.