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Inventions that can help people with Parkinson's disease

It can begin with a slight, barely noticeable tremor. But over time, the progressive disorder of the nervous system known as Parkinson’s disease can affect the way a person walks and talks and virtually everything else they do.   

Over a million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease. In some cases, they are prevented by the symptoms of the disorder from continuing with their jobs and careers. While they might well be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, they are often forced to struggle with everyday tasks such as feeding themselves.

However, a couple of new inventions can help many with Parkinson’s turn this often frustrating task back into something more routine. The first is called Liftware, a spoon devised by an engineer who has friends with Parkinson’s, so he understands how the disorder’s tremors can make eating difficult.

Liftware has a motion sensor that balances the spoon with motions in equal, opposite reactions to the tremors. In that way, the food stays on the spoon and makes self-feeding possible for about 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s.

A similar invention is called handSteady, a cup with a handle that behaves much like the Liftware spoon, counteracting tremors. The balanced cup remains steady and the liquid stays inside, enabling the user to give themselves a drink whenever they choose.

While these advances and others can make aspects of life more accessible, many with Parkinson’s require the financial assistance available with SSDI. Even in cases of Parkinson’s, claims are often denied, requiring appeal. For those applicants unsure of how to prepare an appeal for an administrative law judge, experienced attorneys are available to help. 

Source: Liberty Voice, "Inventions That Make Living With Parkinson’s Disease Easier," Courtney Heitter, May 16, 2014

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