Information for the public
What else might help?
If you have Parkinson's disease, you should be given ongoing help and support from your healthcare professionals, which may include a nurse specialising in caring for people with Parkinson's disease. The support should include:
monitoring your symptoms and adjusting your medicines if needed
being a main point of contact for you and your family or carers
visiting you at home if needed
giving you information about care and support that might help you, your family and carers.
If you have problems with movement and balance, you should be referred to a physiotherapist for specialist treatment.
You may be referred to a physiotherapist if you are in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
Physiotherapy can help with muscle strengthening or stretching exercises (or both); and offer activities to help with posture. You may be referred for a therapy called the Alexander Technique if you have problems with movement and balance.
If you have problems with everyday activities, such as dressing, cooking and working, you should be referred to an occupational therapist.
You may be referred to an occupational therapist if you are in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
Occupational therapists help by finding out what aspects of a person's condition and surroundings cause them difficulties, and find practical changes and activities that can help.
If you have speech or communication problems or problems with swallowing or drooling, you should be referred to a speech and language therapist.
You may be referred to a speech and language therapist if you are in the early stages of Parkinson's disease.
If you find it difficult to speak clearly, devices called augmentative and alternative communication equipment can help. You may be referred for augmentative and alternative communication equipment that meets your needs as Parkinson's disease progresses and your needs change. This could be an alphabet, word or picture board and/or speech software on a computer or tablet device.
You may be referred to a dietitian for specialist advice.
If you are taking levodopa but are having problems controlling your movements, your healthcare professional should also talk with you about changes you can make to your diet, such as eating most of your daily protein (for example, meat, fish, cheese and pulses) later in the day. However, you should not reduce the total amount of protein you eat.
Your healthcare professional should suggest that you take a vitamin D supplement, but you should not start to take any over-the-counter supplements without first talking to your healthcare professional or pharmacist.