49.300 geregistered Parkinson’s patients in The Nederlands
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder and occurs mainly with people from 50 years of age. The incidence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age and is 0.3 per 1000 persons per year in the Netherlands for the category 55 to 65 years and 4.4 per 1000 persons per year for the category older than 85 years (The Elders & David , 2006). According to CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) , in 2016 49,300 Parkinson’s patients were registered in the Netherlands. The benefits of using Lea and effects of Lea on the well-being of individuals with Parkinson’s are described below.
The advantages of care robot Lea in Parkinson’s
Care robot Lea has several functionalities that can facilitate the symptoms of the condition. In particular, falling and loneliness play an important role in this. The first results showed that Lea offers many benefits in living with Parkinson’s. The effect and benefits of Lea are described below.
Walker and/or wheelchair use among people with Parkinson’s is necessary when there are serious mobility problems, which are especially seen in phases 3 and 4 of the disease. Despite the use of a walker, people with Parkinson’s remain unsure about walking.
stimulates movement and ensures with its stability and mobility features the enhancement of safety and independence of the user while walking. The electric support of the wheels ensures that walking feels light and effortless.
It is probable that exercise slows Parkinson’s disease progression down because physical activity influences the neurodegenerative process (KNGF. 2006). Research shows that the positive effects of regular exercise are decreasing after a few months when people with Parkinson’s move less.
stimulates the user to move more by movement goals and exercises. These goals and exercises can also be set up remotely by the care provider or caregiver and put in the agenda of Lea. Lea also offers the opportunity to dance and leads the user through the dance, through various dances such as the samba and Viennese waltz. A good way to stay physically active. With Lea moving is fun again!
Over half of the people aged over 65 develop a fear of falling and 11 percent of patients with Parkinson’s disease describe falling as their most stressful physical symptom, this can sometimes lead to reduced mobility (Jonasson, N, Lexell, & Carlsson, 2018; Peeters et al., 2011). Because there is a reduction in activity, this often results in reduced muscular strength, coordination and flexibility which increases the chance of falling.
is a relatively heavy walking support device, the user will not accidentally tilt the Lea. Because of this characteristic the Lea is very stable. This stability can make the user feel safer while walking and less anxious to walk. By reducing the fear of falling, it is possible that the user will move more often, thereby increasing muscular strength, coordination and flexibility. Due to this increase, the probability of falling will decrease further.
Research shows that people with Parkinson’s disease often have a bad posture and tend to lean to far forward. Even more than they consider themselves. In addition, almost 6 times as many people perish due to falling, in comparison with traffic accidents. Three quarters of the victims are 80 years of age or older.
has sensors that detect bad posture and stimulates the user to adopt a better posture. Would a freeze occur and the fall risk increase, the posture detection stimulates to walk more upright/ with a straighter posture and this function ensures that LEA cannot drift too far away from the user. This, to reduce the chance of falling.
Freezing and festination
Freezing and festination is a common problem when dealing with Parkinson’s. When freezing you may feel like your feet are nailed to the ground and you cannot make a proper forwards step. This may result in falling (Nanhoe-Mahabier et al., 2011).
Uses engine support and a metronome to stimulate a continuous pattern and taking larger steps, to experience less freezing problems and festination. Research shows that people with Parkinson’s disease walk better when using an auditory ‘cue’, such as music or a metronome. This cue activates another part of the brain and makes you walk more actively.
Besides a reduced activity, a fear of falling can also lead to loneliness because activities are avoided (Peeters et al., 2011). Research from 2016 shows that 43.9% of people above the age of 65 feel lonely, for the category 85 + it is 62.7%. Loneliness can lead to depression; people with Parkinson’s have a higher risk of depression because a dopamine deficiency can also cause depression. Due to loneliness, elderly people tend to stay indoors more often and develop health problems as a result.
Has the possibility for video calling and sharing photo’s, allowing the user to stay in touch with his or her loved ones. This can lift your social life back to a higher level. Often the step to seek social contact is a major obstacle for elderly people, therefore the image dialing can be operated remotely via an Internet portal by close ones. There is also a photo album in the Lea, this album can store received photos. Next to that, the Lea is able to take pictures.
For people with Parkinson’s it is important to take medications at the scheduled time, to keep the medicine level in the body at the right height.
Offers the possibility for care providers and keepers to remotely place reminders in the agenda of Lea. This allows the user to be informed on time of taking medicines and other reminders. In addition, it is nice to have reminders of activities such as exercises, meals and appointments.
- Lea helps with walking safely and independently
- Lea stimulates actively to move and exercise more
- Lea reminds people of appointments and medication
- Lea supports in maintaining social contacts
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