Keeping up appearances


I'm writing an article for The Parkinson, our quarterly membership magazine, about tips and hints on keeping up appearances.

Parkinson's symptoms can make things like shaving, putting on makeup or visiting the hairdressers difficult, but everyone likes to look good. Maybe you visit the hairdresser at certain times, or get your daughter to apply your makeup?

If you've got any tips and hints about maintaining your appearance to share with readers, please post them below.






Yes, appearance is important. And the hairdressers is seriously difficult. I can't plan when to go because I've no idea when I can sit still ( PD makes for an exciting life huh! ). So I aim for the mornings, hope for the best and my haircuts are seriously hit and miss. I'm currently trying to pretend that my cut is deliberately 'choppy'.
But seriously, I really, really, don't want to be negative because I find this site really useful, but all of your questions posted in this type of link seem to presume that people with PD are married, have children, have close family ... and so on. So I know that I risk sounding like the oddity that this site tends to makes me feel, but I suspect that there are plenty of us out here who are on our own, who don't have a daughter to help with make up (or, to quote a previous posting, a grandchild to knit for - and make life worth it?). Sorry, bad night, and I know that PD is crappy for everyone affected by it, but maybe you could occasionally remember those of us out here who do face this alone and re-phrase your questions accordingly ( just sometimes). I'll regret posting this tomorrow, so apologies in advance, but I'm currently walking around sporting a haircut that looks like it belongs to a newly enlisted recruit attacked by a drunken barber, and sleep is a distant memory, so right now it seems reasonable enough.

Hello Sion

Sorry I can`t add to Jackson`s comment about living alone with PD because OH is the one with PD. 

He moved from a wet shave to an electric shaver then to a beard maintained with a stubble trimmer which I do for him between visits to the barber who obviously makes a professional job of it.  Fortunately he doesn`t have the movement problems Jackson has or he`d have to have a long beard which I could maybe keep tidy in plaits. 

OH can`t walk now so no need for shoes.  Instead we`ve found easy-on slippers which look like casual shoes and he`s OK with them.

Because standing is so difficult trousers have to be quickly on and sitting all day means they must not be too tight around the groin.  He`s wearing elasticated waist, smart fleece trousers at the moment.  They would not look so smart if he were walking about but in his wheelchair they look just fine and the stretch seems to keep the groin area comfortable.

OH finds it difficult to get into `top half` clothes so we try to choose garments that are slightly larger or looser than before but which will drape well so the fit still looks right.  Jersey fabrics are good for this if not too thick and layering is fashionable and warm.



Hello Jackson

I am alone too so know just how you feel.  I sometimes feel envious of people with carers or other halves to help them.  Having no family support network is very difficult at times and I do sympathise with you.  I do panic about the future but as i have been told many times on this site that I should not worry about the future only about the present.  Anytime you want a chat about something affecting you as a person living on your own please send me a personal message.  



It's another   question like the one about tips on visiting your dentist and I will reply just the same.

Book an appointment with your hairdresser on a day and time when you know that your symptoms will be if, and pretty impossible.

I insist that my OH wears the clothes that has done all his life; trousers, shirt, etc, making him the person he has always been, and not joggers and a sweatshirt which are all to easy to get into the routine of, but which if he was  own are the best option and are some days, 17 years on from diagnosis, the only option

Yes, I have to help with dressing most days but to keep their dignity I do this gladly. Some days he cannot shave himself so we laugh at designer stubble; it's, no laughing matter for a man who shaved twice day some years ago............dignity is lost and then self esteem tumbles. Same with cutting   finger and toe nails, who does it if the PWP can't???

So, tips on keeping up appearances, fine of you have someone to help you but God help you if you don't!!

Hi John,
Thank you for your reply, it's genuinely appreciated. Living in the present is my main strategy, but I have to admit that the gremlins can tend to jump out of the carefully constructed box that  I put them in during the early hours of the morning, and very occasionally they hang around for a party hence I  managed to round up a bad weekend by embarrassing myself beyond belief yesterday (ongoing chest pains, probably panic, phoned for advice, ended up being directed to a & e, where they were lovely in spite of the fact that I must have come across as a seriously neurotic person, mumbling apologies, creeping out red faced...). I have now fixed the lid firmly back on and resolved to phone people I know when panic sets in rather than worry about being a nuisance.  Still, it detracted my attention from the mad haircut for a while. Now, let's see if I can take my eye out with my mascara this morning lol.     k