April 29, 2014
Occupational therapist Stacy Hodges, O.T., Director, Rehab Services, Virginia Gay Hospital, Vinton, IA, offered a good tip in the spring edition of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s News & Review newsletter. Interestingly – and what caught our eye during reading – is that we already use this handy tool during some of our exercise classes!
To quote Stacy: “Since freezing occurs in part because of the body’s inability to plan movement, try strategies that make your movement more automatic. Use an interactive metronome to establish a unique rhythm for each user. After programming the device, place it on a nearby surface. Then, perform tasks (i.e. chores or exercise) to its beat. It will help your movements to become more fluid.”
Remember those old music lesson days when the teacher set up the “tick-tock” instrument to help you keep the proper rhythm? Well, now there are free apps for the iPhone and iPad from the Apple/iTunes store (health and fitness categories). We use a free version from a particular retailer that creates a variety of different beat programs with an adjustable volume level. As with everything we offer, it’s fun…but with a serious purpose!