Rolling Over in Bed


In last week’s edition of the Parkinson’s Newsletter from Dartmouth-Hitchcock (click here to subscribe) I was excited to see this piece on rolling over in bed because there are so many good suggestions. We have permission from editor Diane Sherman to reprint for you. I hope you find it helpful!

Rolling Over in Bed
People with Parkinson’s typically have difficulty getting a good night’s sleep for a variety of reasons, including being unable to roll over in bed. If you are having this problem, please talk with your doctor to ensure that you have sufficient night-time PD medication to allow you to move in bed. You might also ask your doctor for a referral to a physical therapist or occupational therapist who can help you by

  • breaking this complex movement down into steps, and
  • providing exercises to strengthen the muscles needed to accomplish these tasks.

Exercises to improve bed mobility

Helpful videos:

You might consider adding in mobility aids (available from many suppliers, including those at links below):

Video demonstration of Friendly Beds Independent Living Modular Bed Rail System. (Friendly Beds won the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging‘s 2016 Innovation in Caregiving Award.)

Some news on the science of rolling over from Physics Central: What Rolling Over in Your Sleep Can Say about Your Health. The article cites the work of a team of Japanese physicists studying “turnover dynamics” in healthy controls and people with PD.

“The researchers proposed that healthy people roll over in two distinct ways, which they call “modes” – a quick mode that consists of rolling every ten seconds or less (not necessarily rolling over entirely, but shifting a bit, with at least a slight rotation), and a slow mode that happens every hundred seconds or more.”

The quick mode of rollover didn’t change much in PD, but the slow mode decreased with increasing severity of PD, as illustrated in the dramatic figures in the research paper.

“Analysis of the data suggests a close association among individuals’ neurological conditions, sleep quality, and statistical properties of the turnover dynamics.”

UVA Pancakes for Parkinson'sPancakes for Parkinson’s
At our Cafe Fairfax last week, we heard the story about Pancakes for Parkinson’s at UVA. Click here for the link to the article that I promised to send – A Flippin’ Awesome History of UVA’s Wildly Successful Pancakes for Parkinson’s.

Also in Charlottesville . . .

Run While You Can
Saturday, November 3, 4:00 pm

at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Charlottesville

One of the films featured at the 31st Virginia Film Festival ( may be of particular interest to the Parkinson community.

In 2011, Sam Fox embarked on an unbelievable challenge: to run along the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico at record-breaking speed. In order to complete the 2,650-mile journey and break the world record, he must finish in 60 days, running at an unbelievable pace of 44 miles a day. Emboldened by his mother’s ongoing struggle with Parkinson’s disease, Fox runs both to raise awareness for the illness and to express gratitude for his mother’s strength. Along the trail, Fox pushes both his mind and body to dramatic limits in an extraordinary display of empathy for the bodily challenges his mother faces each day. Discussion with director Marion Mauran, moderated by Mark Lorenzoni (Ragged Mountain Running & Walking Shop)

Davis Phinney launches it’s first official season of The Parkinson’s Podcast
There are quite a variety of topics such as The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s and Advice for the Newly Diagnosed to help you live well with Parkinson’s. Episode 104, uploaded just this week, has Advice for Parkinson’s Care Partners with Connie Carpenter Phinney – click here.
You can either listen to them directly from the episode page on their website, or you can go to iTunes or SoundCloud or wherever you listen to podcasts and listen from there. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before and aren’t sure how to do it, this article gives a great step-by-step tutorial.

How to Stay Fit and Safe at Home
Friday, November 2, 10:00 am – 12 noon (registration from 9:30 am)
At: Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road in Alexandria. Senior Services of Alexandria is teaming up with the Northern Virginia Falls Prevention Alliance, Goodwin at Home and Fairfax County to educate us what we need to know as we age in order to live independently in our own homes. Topics include learning about how physical changes occur as we age and the increasing importance of exercise; fall prevention; proper use of medications; how to modify your home and tips on avoiding scams. As always it is a free event with light refreshments and plenty of parking. RSPV online at November Speaker Series or call 703-836-4414, ext. 110.

Health Support
Bob shared this information with us at a recent cafe. Thank you, Bob!
“Accordant is a CVS Caremark Company that provides support and in a way tacks your progress for certain diseases, e.g., Parkinson.  They identified me through my prescriptions and neurologist I believe. I went through a on-line history where I identified doctors and answered general health programs.  They call me about once a month for details from the previous quarter, and also provide reminders for items such as flu shots.  They can also find local resources for assistance and support.  They also can provide supporting and educational publications similar to Parkinson network.”

Accordant Health Services
4900 Koger Boulevard, Suite 100, Greensboro, NC 27407

Insight Memory Care Center’s Paintings and Pairings
What a wonderful event last night! It was great to see so many of our friends from our Parkinson’s community. They not only attended, but also donated items they had created for the silent auction, and there was a familiar face in the video featuring interviews with care givers. Insight is a special resource for us because we learn so much from them at their educational classes and workshops, and they connect us with their Lewy Body Dementia caregiver support group. We are also grateful for Insight’s support and encouragement, and for hosting our Cafe Fairfax, support group leader gatherings, and now our first caregiver appreciation luncheon. Thank you all for your support of Insight!

Hoping to see you out and about soon!


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