Parkinson’s aids: Better self-help with a VELA chair

Parkinson’s is a disability associated with challenges expressed in many different ways depending on how the disease affects and develops in the individual. Most people experience a growing number of challenges, and over time these challenges can have significant consequences for their everyday life.

Baking with a VELA mobility chair for kitchen work

Parkinson’s and self-help – you can do it

Fortunately, Parkinson’s does not have to mean only challenges and effort – Caroline is an excellent example of that. Even when you turn 80, you can still challenge yourself and make a few demands from your body when having Parkinson’s aids – such as a VELA chair.

Caroline is a retired nurse and has lived with daily challenges for almost a decade due to Parkinson’s disease. Caroline has always been used to doing things herself, but now the illness means she is having a hard time making her food due to back pain. 

She has always enjoyed cooking, but the increasing degree of pain and inconvenience of doing things herself has taken the joy out of it. With a diagnosis like Parkinson’s, the road to self-help could be a rollator, but in Caroline’s case, a mobility chair undoubtedly made the difference.

 

Physical training and a VELA chair for Parkinson’s

Conversations with an occupational therapist resulted in a professional assessment of what Caroline could still do and what she could no longer do. They developed a training schedule based on these conversations, and Caroline got her VELA chair. And the chair made a world of difference for her everyday living with Parkinson’s.

This chair has a brake, electric height adjustment and armrests. That means that I can adjust the height of the chair to suit what I am doing while I am sitting in it.

Parkinson’s aids? The VELA chair is perfect

One of the biggest challenges for Caroline is that she cannot stand upright for long, continuous periods. Therefore, she has difficulty cooking, as she can only stand for a few minutes before she has to sit or lie down and take a rest.

With a VELA chair, Caroline can now save energy due to Parkinson’s aids and spend it where it gives her the most value. Now she can sit when she used to stand and focus on cooking instead of keeping her balance.

I can raise the chair, so I can have my legs under the kitchen sink and get up close to the countertop, sitting with my back straight and resting my arms every once in a while.

Living with Parkinson’s: This is how the chair’s functions help

The VELA chair for Parkinson’s has smooth-running wheels, which means that you can “walk” it around. The ability to get around while sitting down can make a big difference when you have problems with mobility or balance.

In Caroline’s case, the office chair with brake and electric lift is crucial when it comes to cooking. The chair’s brake offers stability, and she can relax her legs, which tire quickly.

Now I can reach pots and plates in both the top and bottom cabinets, and the brake allows me to sit safely while I stir the pot or slice vegetables.

Now I can cook again

One of the things that have made a big difference for Caroline is that she no longer has to spend unnecessary effort “just” standing. Despite her diagnosis, she still wants to do things in the kitchen, be politically active and write letters. She can now do all these things again because her VELA chair for Parkinson’s helps her with the daily chores, so she has more energy to do the things she loves.

After just a few sessions of kitchen training in my VELA chair, I could peel potatoes, slice onions and fry minced beef again without having to rest.

Caroline is not her real name, as she prefers to remain anonymous. However, VELA is familiar with her real identity.

Personal stories

Alisson’s story

Now, I find that I am much less tired. Before I had my VELA chair, my husband and I took 15-20 minutes to move me from the office chair and onto my scooter to get home at the end of the day. Now, it only takes a moment because I have a lot more energy.
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Patrick’s story

I can’t stand up and talk to someone for more than a few minutes. If you haven’t experienced challenges with balance yourself, it’s really hard to comprehend how much it dominates everyday life.
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Charlotte’s story

It’s easy to walk the chair between the kitchen and the dining table, and my VELA chair doesn’t take up as much space as the wheelchair.
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Aileen’s story

This chair is amazing. I feel so safe in it, and it’s a pleasure to be able to move from room to room with ease. It also has the advantage that I get to train my legs while I walk the chair forward.
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Lilly’s story

Now I enjoy cooking for several days at a time, and it makes a world of difference that I can peel the potatoes myself. A good diet is important when living with arthritis – and doing the work also builds up an appetite.
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Kenneth’s story

Previously, I couldn’t help with making dinner while standing up, especially by the stove. I needed something to hold onto because you never know when you are going to fall. I cook and stir the pot now because I can use both of my hands.
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Solveig’s story

I used to burn myself on the oven all the time, whenever I needed to take something out of it. That doesn’t happen anymore. Now I raise the chair up to the oven, and that means I do not burn myself on the edge of the oven door.
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Conny’s story

More than a decade ago, Conny suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her paralysed. The electric lift and the wide wheels have given Conny much of her independence and sense of self-worth back. Rehabilitation and recovery after hemiplegia require activity, and she is now able to do that.

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Ashley’s story

Ashley was born with several disabilities that challenge him in everyday life. He has reduced muscle tone, which means he has difficulty walking and keeping his balance. His feet also pronate, which gives him back pain and poor posture. Unfortunately, these challenges also affect Ashley’s breathing.

With his VELA chair, Ashley is now completely ready to take on 7th grade.

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