Tips for using the phone

Parkinson's disease - tips for using the telephone

Communicating via phone is often a challenge for people with Parkinson’s. In this video, you can find some practical advice on how to facilitate this task. Kimberly Stein-Biwer, speech therapist and member of the ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, shows exercises and offers suggestions together with one of her patients. By simulating a phone call, they point out together what are the important aspects of using the phone for people with Parkinson’s.

“Many patients don’t use their phone as often as before because their voice is too low, or their speech is incomprehensible. Sometimes they also cannot find the words they want to say or speak too quickly", Kimberly explains, describing common problems that people with Parkinson’s disease encounter. “Together with the patient, we define the goal of speech therapy and help them to put it into practice in everyday life situations.”

One of the main aspects of speech therapy is the treatment of hypokinetic dysarthria, which is a typical symptom of Parkinson's disease. It leads to a reduced volume of the voice and less clear pronunciation, which make those affected less understandable. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all patients suffer from these symptoms. This means that almost everyone with Parkinson's develops a speech disorder during the course of the disease. Thus, it is important to promote speaking skills in order to maintain the patient's quality of life. Constant practice and language training can help these people to express themselves more efficiently on the phone.

“Thanks to ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, we have a more global view of the patients. It allows us to identify the specific difficulties of each person. Together with the other therapists, we then try to coordinate the different therapies in order to best help the patient”, Kimberly highlights. The exercises shown in the video are an example of the different strategies specifically developed for people with Parkinson’s and implemeted by the therapists of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg.