Pedal power

Husband's PD is advancing much faster than we like - he finds formal exercise difficult, as his co-ordination and awareness of his body are shot - he can walk (shuffle) a short distance, and slightly further (say 300 yards) with his rollator. We tried an exercise bike, but he can't even get on it. Does anyone out there use those bicycle-type pedals that sit on the floor? They look as if they would be ideal for exercising his legs and arms, but lots of things look ideal that don't actually work! Any advice would be very welcome. In the meantime we'll persevere with the sitting exercises, and brave the local swimming pool once I can convince him that even he can't drown in the shallow end with me (qualified lifesaver) and the pool lifesavers all watching him!

Shropshire Girl,

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's progression.

I would concentrate (but not exclusively so) on your husband's walking: it's free, has little start-up time, leads on to other things, like chatting to the neighbours.

In Stafford (I think Shrewsbury and Telford branches do something similar) we crown green bowl twice a week and also run a physiotherapy class once a week.

The logistics of swimming are difficult for many PwPs. It just takes too long to get to the pool, to get undressed and then dressed again.


Thanks very much for the response, John. Sorry for the delay in acknowledging, but we lost phone and internet for a week thanks to a fallen tree branch. We are finding a rollator a great help in getting him walking more - and better, and I hope that now the weather has improved we can continue that. We're near a canal, so a towpath safari is on the books. Shrewsbury branch do run a physio class, but Mr Grumpy is hard to persuade.... I think swimming is  worth at least a try - he used to enjoy it, and if he has to waddle outside to the car in his swimming trunks afterwards, well, he'll just have to!

As a PWP I'd hope the bit about going home in his trunks although practical and easier for both of you until he is dry was an exasperated carer letting off steam. As my condition has progressed, being treated like a naughty schoolboy really hurts and highlights the loss of independence, for the PWP and just as importantly their partner. There, that's my frustration point sorted. The sitting cycle things can be powered so provide some movement when he has none to give. On the walking front is it worse when the way is busy as that's why shopping has become a shuffle zone for me. Has he tried concentrating on passing vertical objects as walks. This help with looking up and posture and works for me in the way that stepping over a horizontal line works.