April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Thank You!

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​ April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Thank You!  

Grandfather telling stories to son and grandson 

As Parkinson’s Awareness Month comes to a close, we’d like to thank you for participating in raising awareness for the disease. It is estimated that as few as 7 million and as many as 10 million people worldwide are suffering from the neurological disorder, and it’s heartbreaking. But please, don’t let the month-end stop you! Keep the ball rolling by browsing our suggestions from past posts or do a little research online! The benefits of increased awareness are felt all year round, not only in April.   

Want to share with Home Instead Senior Care how you and your family took initiative this month? Visit our Facebook page and share your story! Comment on our wall, or, if you don’t have Facebook, you can tag us on Twitter (@HISC_WestGTA). No Twitter either? Not a problem; you can add your story in our “Reply” section at the very bottom of this page. Either click here or just scroll to the end. ​

We thought we would close this month’s topic by including some advice for CAREGivers and loved ones who might know someone recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Imagine a stone dropping into the water; the exact spot it lands is not the only one affected. The waves that pebble creates extend far out into the distance. The same can be said about your grandma, maybe your uncle, or even your best friend that has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It does not only affect them, rather, it affects everyone they love and care about. We know this can be a challenging time and we want to help you to begin building a CARE-partnership. They can’t do this on their own.

  • Become More Involved – beyond just popping by for a visit, it might be beneficial for loved ones (or even the patients CAREGiver) to ask if they can start attending the regular doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions. When you are with them more often, you might notice little things that the person experiencing Parkinson’s does not. Things such as mood swings or unusual behaviour.
  • Stay Organized – keep a calendar on the fridge or near the front door. Make sure that any special appointments are highlighted with the proper time, and are written on the correct date. If it’s a large calendar, you could note any side effects or pertinent information in the space corresponding to the date you observed the behaviours. Or better yet, have a journal handy beside the calendar for longer entries. Keeping a timeline could give you a bigger picture as to how fast or slow the disease is progressing and may be good information for your doctor to hear.
  • Put Together Important Lists – this could be doctor’s names and numbers, insurance account numbers, important contact information for people such as family members or friends in case of an emergency. Ensure the list is quite accessible and in a consistent location.
  • Talk Things Through – if you’re feeling stressed out, don’t keep it bottled-up inside. Yes, you are caring for another person and might have their needs on the top of your priority list, but you can’t forget about yourself. Join a support group that is local or one that is within the digital community. If you don’t like the idea of sharing with people who are unfamiliar to you, why not discuss things with your family or friends?
  • Be patient – there are going to be frustrating situations and you may have to say things more than once. Please try to remember that the person you’re caring for has no control over what’s happening to them. Take your time, try to be patient with someone struggling and try not to let the little things bother you.

If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, know that Home Instead Senior Care is here to help you. We have a big group of loving and respectful CAREGivers to relieve you of some of the stress you are feeling.

As we mentioned before, just because this is the last week of April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month does not mean you have to stop raising awareness: 

Starting off Small
Keep up with your social media awareness posts until the 30th at least! As we’ve been suggesting, add the hashtag “#EndParkinsons” or “#HomeInsteadSeniorCare”. You can always spark a discussion at the dinner table or while you’re having lunch with coworkers.

A Bigger Impact
Now that the weather is much nicer, why not plan and host a neighbourhood garage sale with the proceeds going to Parkinson’s Canada or a local Parkinson’s advocacy group? You can create brightly coloured posters advertising the dates and location, or send out invitations on Facebook. The Parkinson’s SuperWalk that we talked about in our last post is accepting donations!    

Making Huge Strides
Go Global! On September 20th – 23rd, the World Parkinson Congress will be held in Portland, Oregon. If you or a group of people are thinking of joining, make sure that you register yourselves before July 5th! There are a variety of events planned for each day; information sessions, special lectures, workshops, roundtable sessions (described as “Meet the Experts” with time for Q&A), and more.

Helpful Links & Upcoming Awareness Events

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