6 posts tagged “forum discussion”

Easy listening: Podcasts for relaxation

Posted 2 months ago by

Podcasts are super popular, so let’s chat about what helps you chill out…with your earbuds in. Whose voices and which topics or types of podcasts do you find most de-stressing? Take a look at what folks around the web and here in the PatientsLikeMe forums have to say about podcasts and ideas for “easy listening.”

Ideas from our community and around the internet

“I’ve found quite a few podcasts that give guidance for meditation,” one member says in the forum. “My favorite is ‘Zencast’ — it is a series, that has [nearly] 500 episodes. There are quite a few others. You can find them from most any podcast player library. Use meditation, or mindfulness, as search words. You may find them helpful!”

Other members have also chimed in with their favorite relaxing podcasts (join PatientsLikeMe or log in to see what they say!).

Whether you’re into meditation, music, history or mysteries, there’s seemingly a podcast for everyone. While we haven’t had a chance to listen to all these (so we can’t vouch for all the content or possible advertising), we’ve rounded up some relaxing podcasts that have gotten media attention and noted some trends we spotted.

(Please don’t listen to sleep-inducing podcasts while driving! Also, beware of possible topics or content that may be triggering to you, of course.)

“Storytime” podcasts

LeVar Burton Reads – “Stressed adults yearning for a bit of relaxation in this hectic world now have a peaceful refuge: LeVar Burton’s new storytelling podcast,” SFGate reports. “The soothing voice of PBS’s beloved ‘Reading Rainbow’ recently launched a podcast” where he reads short stories for adults.

The Classic Tales Podcast – This one “features some of the best mostly unknown stories from around the globe, throughout history, all told by the award-winning narrator B.J. Harrison,” Medium says.

Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast – “Nobody is too old to be lulled off to sleep by a bedtime story, and grownups deserve them, too,” one Bustle writer says. “Miette has one of the most soothing [expletive] voices I have ever heard. Is it Scottish? Is it Welsh? Does it matter? I really don’t know but it is absolutely lovely and so relaxing.”

Culture and history podcasts

Soul Music – “Soul Music is a lovely podcast from BBC Radio 4,” the Evening Standard reports. “Each episode explores one song and what it means to different people around the world.”

Longform – The Evening Standard also recommends this podcast, “if you’re interested in writing, and even if you’re not. Each episode is a different interview with a writer, whether that’s a journalist, an author or a podcast host. The episodes focus on the stories they make, how they found them, how they are inspired to write…”

Travel with Rick Steves – “Yes, THAT Rick Steves [PBS star],” writes one Taunton Daily Gazette reporter/podcast fan. “Each week you’ll take a trip around the world and hear about unique local customs from expert guides, authors and travelers.”

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – “This one is great for long trips, because each one is at least four hours long, if not longer,” the same Gazette reporter says. “If you are a history buff, you are sure to enjoy Carlin’s enthusiasm and attention to detail. He also has a real knack for empathetic retellings of how the people living through these events must have felt.” Some folks on Reddit mention Carlin in this thread about podcasts with relaxing voices.

Old-timey and mystery podcasts

The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio – “This little peach focuses on detective stories from back in the day with host Adam Graham,” Bustle says. “Utilizing the lovely legal loophole that all radio shows pre-February 15, 1972 are fair game in terms of copyright, this podcast will lull you into a deep and rewarding slumber while musing on whodunnit instead of whatever anxiety-inducing thoughts keep you awake.” Classic radio podcasts are rising in popularity and you can find a bunch more online — some complete with that great crackly sound.

Mysteries Abound – “Let me tell you, this man’s voice is more soothing than anything I’ve heard,” the same Bustle writer says. “The podcast looks at weird stuff from the internet, mysteries, lists of interesting facts… the music is very dreamy and chill as well.”

Meditation and sleep podcasts

The Mindful Podcast – “If you’ve never tried mindfulness, it’s a simple form of meditation,” the Evening Standard explains. “It helps you become present in what’s going on so [you] become of where you are and what’s going on without feeling overwhelmed. The Mindful Podcast helps you achieve this state of mindfulness,” and the episodes are short (usually 5-10 minutes). Hundreds of PatientsLikeMe members have reported trying meditation and mindfulness as part of their treatment — click the links to see what they say.

Sleep With Me: The Podcast That Puts You to Sleep – Medium calls this “one of the most renowned and best reviewed sleep podcasts out there. In each episode, the narrator “Dearest Scooter” delivers meandering, stream-of-consciousness monologues in monotone to ramble you to sleep with his boring stories.”

Sleep and Relax ASMR – “Have you ever tried ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response?” the Medium writer asks. “If you have, then you know how good the tingles that start in your scalp and snake down your back feel. You would also know how well that feeling relaxes you and puts you to sleep. If you have not experienced ASMR, and some people can’t, still give this podcast a try as the soft background music and slow whispers can still help you relax and put you to bed.”

ASMR, which is also big on YouTube, could be a type of small (pleasurable) seizure, the neurologist behind the NeuroLogica blog explains — so do some research and check with your doctor first if you have a seizure disorder and questions about ASMR.

What are your go-to podcasts for relaxation? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to swap ideas with the community here!


Driving with Parkinson’s disease: Safety considerations + turning over the keys

Posted 7 months ago by

Are you still driving with Parkinson’s disease? Check out some safety considerations and pointers for determining if it’s time to turn over the keys. Plus, explore how others with PD have handled this tricky topic and see some alternate ways of getting around.

Considerations for driving with PD + 7 questions to ask yourself

“You will likely be able to drive safely and legally for several years, depending on your age and general physical condition,” according to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “However, Parkinson’s disease eventually affects reaction time, ability to handle multiple tasks, vision and judgment.”

Everyone with PD is living with their own mix of motor and non-motor symptoms, rate of disease progression, and reaction to medication (such as levodopa “ons and offs”) — all of which can affect driving abilities.

There are currently no set guidelines for neurologists to determine someone’s fitness to drive, so doctors consider patients’ skills and symptoms on a case-by-case basis, according to ParkinsonsDisease.net. They recommend considering these questions to help determine if you’re still fit to drive:

  • How is my vision? Can I see well at night? Can I distinguish colors, such as in traffic lights?
  • Would I be putting my passenger (friend or loved one) at risk?
  • How fast is my reaction time? Could I safely avoid a surprise obstacle in the road?
  • Has anyone (friend or family member) commented negatively on my ability to drive?
  • Can I handle multiple activities at the same time (whether driving or not)?
  • Can I effectively and quickly turn the wheel or step on the brake with enough strength?
  • Do any of my medications cause side effects like sleepiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or confusion?

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published this self-assessment quiz and booklet for the general population of drivers ages 65+, but your own evaluation of your driving (and even your doctor’s assessment) may not capture all the true risks.

Driving assessments

PatientsLikeMe members have talked about how you can get a driving assessment to help you independently determine your driving abilities (click here to learn more about different types of professional driving assessments; note: these assessments are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance and you should ask if the results may be shared with your state and affect the status of your driver’s license).

Older drivers can also attend a (confidential) CarFit event, where a team of trained technicians and/or health professionals work with you to ensure you “fit” your vehicle properly for maximum comfort and safety.

Your community’s experiences

Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to see what members have said about the challenges of giving up their keys — as well as the potential bright side, such as no longer having to stress about driving (and associated costs, like car payments, insurance and gas) and — more importantly — possibly hurting someone.

Karl Robb (our blog partner), who has young-onset PD, has written about how he realized he gave up driving at age 30 because of worsening dyskinesia. “Relinquishing the keys to your car is a selfless act of caring and compassion,” he says in a piece for the Parkinson’s Foundation. “It shows that you care about yourself and those who may be put in harm’s way.”

Getting around town

Thinking about giving up or reducing your driving? Look into public transportation or free/reduced-cost transportation services in your area, and ask friends and family for rides (it can help to plan ahead and have a set calendar or day of each week for running errands with them).

“Turns out it is a good time to be a non-driver,” notes one member. “Surely you have heard of LYFT and Uber? They offer inexpensive rides in many US cities. maybe your family could set you up with one.” (See the growing list of cities that Lyft and Uber serve, as well as ever-expanding delivery services, like Instacart for groceries and medications/pharmacy goods.)

Also, explore these other transportation resources:

Join PatientsLikeMe and this PD forum discussion to add your thoughts, questions or concerns about driving. The community is here for you!

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