Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's is a chronic, insidiously progressing neurological condition. It is mainly characterised by a tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, rough movement. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Living with Parkinson's does require continual re-adjustment as the disease slowly progresses through to a severe disability. Depending upon the level of impairment, daily activities such as getting dressed, driving and eating may become more challenging. Roles within the family, in the community and at work may also need to be redefined.

Occupational Therapy is a profession concern with promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life.

Our Occupational Therapists have expertise is assisting individuals with Parkinson's to manage the practical aspects of their everyday life. Our Occupational Therapists can enable individuals with Parkinson's disease to maximise their current abilities, retain independence for as long as possible and develop coping strategies to deal with any future problems which may arise.

Problems associated with Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease affects many aspects of an individual's daily life and also their abilities to participate in day to day activities such as the ones listed below:

  • Washing
  • Dressing
  • Driving
  • Work activities
  • Sleeping
  • Leisure activities
  • Social activities
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

Our Occupational Therapists can help individual's with Parkinson's disease manage their daily tasks more effectively, stay independent, carry on with hobbies and interests and deal with the changes in their abilities.

Our Occupational Therapists will work with individuals and identify both meaningful and purposeful goals that can help them maintain, regain or improve their independence by using different techniques, changing their environment and using new equipment.

After identifying the difficulties experienced by the individuals, our Occupational Therapists can help by:

  • Practicing activities in manageable stages.
  • Teaching individuals how to grade activities appropriately.
  • Recommend changes, to make activities easier to complete.
  • Provide aids to help individual's complete daily activities successfully.

The aim of the above modifications is toallow individuals with Parkinson'sto maintain and improve their abilities to complete everyday tasks, and increase their overall life satisfaction.

How can these difficulties impact on function?

Parkinson's is a progressive life-long condition which requires continuing treatmentin order to reduce the loss of productivity and independence. Below is a summary of how Parkinson's disease can impacton the different aspects of an individual's day to day life:


  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Difficulties washing and dressing independently
  • Difficulties cleaning
  • Difficulties cooking
  • Difficulties feeding
  • Difficulties toileting


  • Stigma
  • Completing social activities
  • Participating in leisure activities
  • Feelings of depression and anger

What exactly is Parkinson's disease?

Nerve cells within the brain control body movements. For movement to occur a chemical process takes place. During this process messages are passed to each cell this is known as neurotransmitters. In a healthy body, these messages are carried efficiently and will produce controlled and appropriate movements. In an individual with Parkinson's however, the messages are disrupted and are not transmitted as smoothly to the muscles, resulting in difficulties controlling movements of the body.

When messages fail to transmit properly it is suggested that the individual has a lack of dopamine, this is one of the chemicals involved in the control of movement. In people with Parkinson's disease, between 70-80 % of the cells which produce dopamine have degenerated and been lost. This occurs mainly in a small section of the brain.

The reasons for why dopamine-producing cells become exhausted still remains unclear. It is generally thought that multiple factors are responsible and areas in current research include ageing, genetic factors, environmental factors and viruses. It is also remains unclear why some people develop the disease but not others.

Parkinson's disease affects around one to two out of 100 individuals over the age of 65 years in the UK. However in most individuals the Parkinson's disease symptoms will appear before the age of 50 years. Parkinson's has be recorded to be more common in men than women.

Occupational Therapy assessments suitable for Parkinson's disease

During your first visit to one of our Occupational Therapists they will collect details regarding your home and work life, family and other roles and responsibilities, and the types of activities that you want and need to do. This is completed through the use of comprehensive assessment tools.

Below is a list of suitable assessments used withindividuals with Parkinson's disease:

  • Cognitive assessments
  • Functional assessment
  • Activities of daily living assessments
  • Aids and adaptations assessment
  • Risk assessment
  • Workplace assessment

All our Occupational Therapists are highly experienced and skilled and can complete both standardised and non-standardised assessments for individuals with Parkinson's disease. Our assessments both pure and accurate and enable our therapists to devise treatment plans suited to the need of each and every individual.

Occupational therapy treatment available

The primary goal of our Occupational Therapy is to enable individuals to participate in the activities of daily life they find both meaningful and purposeful. Our treatments aim to develop, recover and maintain these daily living skills and increase the life satisfaction of those with Parkinson's disease.

Our treatments for individuals with Parkinson's disease also aim at improving:

  • Functional independence
  • Social interaction
  • Increase safety
  • Improve self-care
  • Money management skills
  • Mood management abilities

Our Occupational Therapy treatments may take place in the individuals own home or here in one of our clinics. One to one and group session are also available for individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.


Living with a long-term condition such as Parkinson's disease can be very challenging for both the individual and their families. Our Occupational Therapy aims to assist each individual in achieving an independent, productive and satisfying lifestyle, using methods based on function and productive activity.

How to arrange to see an occupational therapist?

Would you or a family member benefit from our Occupational Therapy? If so please feel free to email us any of your enquires at or Call us on 02033 937 332



London OT offer and provide a range of Occupational Therapy services for individuals with a variety of conditions.

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