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Cueing Strategies

Parkinson's disease impacts the ability to perform movements that are usually done without conscious thought. As the disease progresses, your loved one's movements will become smaller and less automatic. Parkinson's can also result in inaccurate perception of movement size and quality, so your loved one may not fully recognize these changes. You can use cues to help your loved one move more easily. Simple cues can make the brain less dependent on its automatic systems and "reroute" messages, so movement improves.

  • Keep it short. Long explanations or instructions are often harder to follow for someone with Parkinson's disease. Use these simple phrases to cue movement:

    • "Stand tall" if posture becomes too flexed​

    • "Big steps" to decrease shuffling when walking

    • "March" when turning to keep knees high

  • Since Parkinson's impacts automatic movements, standing tall and taking big steps, for example, may not happen automatically. You will likely need to repeat cues on a regular basis.

Ask the doctor for a referral to a physical therapist who can tailor cueing strategies to your loved one's individual needs. There are many ways to help with walking challenges, such as freezing episodes.


Parkinson's Foundation. Page 54. Cueing Strategies. Practical Pointers. Chapter 3. Caring and Coping. A Care Partner's Guide to Parkinson's Disease. "Booklet."

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