If you or someone close to you has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD), you probably have many questions and concerns and you may be on an emotional rollercoaster.
Remember that you are not alone. As many as one million people in the US and an estimated seven to ten million worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease.
With a diagnosis now in hand and the freedom to learn at your own pace, you can begin to understand Parkinson’s and its treatments and the role they will play in your life. Your diagnosis can be the first step to taking charge of your life with Parkinson’s disease. What are some next steps?
Inform Yourself about PD:
You will need time to adjust to the new diagnosis, so educate yourself about PD – slowly. Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon provides individual counseling, educational workshops, a HelpLine, suggestions of local support groups and classes to help you and your loved ones become informed.
Assemble a HealthCare Team:
Managing PD and the varied symptoms that arise over time requires expertise and a team of health professionals. In addition to a neurologist you trust, you might seek connection with a social worker, physical therapist, speech therapist and of course your primary physician as well.
Make a Plan for Telling Friends and Family:
As Parkinson’s symptoms progress, friends and family may notice changes and become concerned – even though you are feeling fine! Remember, you control the information about your diagnosis and how you share with others. A simple explanation is typically sufficient. If you have concerns about disclosing at your workplace, ask your physician or seek advice.
Accept Support From Others:
You don’t have to cope with Parkinson’s alone. There is a community ready to accept you, share stories of success and bolster you on down days.
There is no better time than today to take action to control your health and wellness. Find an exercise class, learn about nutrition and engage with your neurologist to optimize your treatment plan.
With Parkinson’s disease, situations will change. You will need to be prepared, flexible, and willing to seek information and support as needed.
If you have questions about Parkinson’s, resources in the community or would like to schedule a time to talk with one of our counselors, please call: 800-426.6806.
Article Provided by:
Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon