Environmental Needs of People with Parkinson's Disease and their Informal Caregivers: Considerations for Landscape Architects

Millar, Ashley
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University of Guelph

The built environment lacks the infrastructure people with Parkinson’s Disease (PwPD) require to navigate it independently. In progressive cases, PwPD require substantial help from their informal caregivers and therefore an unsupportive environment affects both. Surprisingly, there is almost no literature on the environmental needs of PwPD and their caregivers. The goal of this research was to better understand the impact the built environment has on PwPD and how this may influence caregivers’ ability to access respite. Online Parkinson’s Disease support group forums were analyzed using NVivo revealing the ways the built environment is a support and a barrier for PwPD and the ways caregivers use their environment during respite. The findings were categorized into themes for consideration by landscape architects. A better understanding of the role the built environment plays in the lives of PwPD and their caregivers allows landscape architects to better design for the needs of this population.

Parkinson's Disease, informal caregivers, built environment, navigate