The Able Label Blog
We are incredibly proud of the people we work with and who stock The Able Label clothing so wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you to some of our partners for the continued support. In this blog we want to return the favour by appreciating some of the work they do.
One in every 500 people has Parkinson’s, which works out to be about 127,000 people in the UK. The charity drives for better care, treatments and quality of life.
Find out more about Parkinson's UK
Based in Oxford, Spring Chicken’s aim is to make getting older better for everybody. With life expectancy has increased by 10 years in the last 60 years, they have made it their mission to help everybody make the most of this amazing gift of ten more years.
Find out more about Spring Chicken
Their mission is to improve the lives of all those affected by dementia and memory loss. They aim help those living with dementia as well as family and professional carers each step of the journey with practical advice, specialised products and a supportive community.
Find out more about Unforgettable
Stroke is the single largest cause of disability in the UK. Over 150,000 people suffer a stroke every year and 25% of them are under retirement age. Different Strokes provides a comprehensive support service for younger survivors and their families.
It is still largely managed and staffed by younger stroke survivors and those with close personal experience of stroke.
5% of every The Able Label sale that comes through Different Strokes is donated to the charity.
Find out more about Different Strokes
Mobility at Sea
Helping to make cruising more accessible, they provide everyday Living Aids to enhance your cruise experience. They will deliver direct to your cabin on all major Cruise Lines.
Find out more about Mobility at Sea here
The award winning provider of products and services designed to support independent living have over 2,000 Daily Living Aids and Disability Aids. The comprehensive range includes daily living aids, mobility equipment, disability equipment and therapeutic resources.
They have a heritage of over 65 years helping to improve the quality of life and independence of older people, disabled adults and children and their carers.
Find out more about NRS Healthcare
One person every hour is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Like my Grandmother who was in her 70’s when diagnosed, most people get the disease aged over 50 however younger people can get it too. She is one of 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s as it affects one person in 500.
Tragically, it is a progressive neurological condition, which means she is not going to get better. The disease will not kill her but it will mean that symptoms will only worsen over time.
Parkinson’s is caused when nerve cells inside the brain are killed causing a lack of the chemical, dopamine. Why these cells die is unclear but it can lead several symptoms which will vary from person to person. My Grandmother battles the following physical symptoms daily:
· Slowness of movement
· Rigidity or stiffness, especially after she had stopped for a period of time.
· Shuffling when she walks
· Freezing mid way through tasks which could take up to half an hour to overcome
· Problems sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night, wanting to get up to complete tasks she thought she had forgotten in the day or thinking someone was knocking at the door
· Speech and communication problems came later on as the muscles in her neck weakened making her voice softer and words more difficult to get out
· This also has lead to difficulty swallowing as she now can sadly no longer eat solids
Unlike most with Parkinson’s, she initially had no tremor, which we believe is partly why it took her so long to be diagnosed. Only later on, she acquired a twitch in her neck and slight shakes in her hands when she became more stressed.
She also faces mental symptoms, these include:
· Anxiety as she would constantly worry about tasks she had not done
· Frustration, predominantly caused through the physical symptoms
· Dementia, which came later on and has lead to short-term memory problems. She is not alone with this as up to 80 per cent of those with Parkinson’s develop Parkinson’s dementia
· Hallucination and delusions as she would see things which were not really there like holes in her clothes for example
Currently there are no cures. There are however treatments which can help to maintain quality of life. Drugs can help to restore the level of dopamine and physical therapies can help to manage Parkinson’s through the likes of physiotherapy, speech and language as well as occupational therapy.
My Grandmother gradually became less and less confident going out, aware things like paying at the supermarket checkout, took her longer much to the frustration of other shoppers. Parkinson’s UK empathises with this which is why their campaign this year centred around ‘up your friendly’. They are encouraging everyone to make small changes to their behaviour as it can make the biggest difference to someone living with Parkinson’s disease. This could include putting the kettle on, letting someone go first, holding the door open or like my Grandmother needed, just giving someone the extra time they need without becoming frustrated.
In our case, we are providing Parkinson’s friendly clothes that will be available later this year. Our beautiful clothes inspired by my Grandmother are specifically designed to make dressing easier considering things like stiffness, slowness of movement and shakes. All the things regular clothing fails to consider which as was the case with my Grandmother, can add to frustration and feelings of isolation.
For Parkinson UK’s free and confidential helpline for further help and advice call 0808 800 0303.