Young Onset Parkinson’s
A common misconception about Parkinson’s is that it only affects older people. Although the average age of onset is 65, Parkinson’s can affect adults of any age. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people living with Parkinson’s are of working age. This is known as Young Onset Parkinson’s.
The challenges faced by people living with Young Onset Parkinson’s may be different to those diagnosed in retirement age as many younger people are still working, studying, travelling and caring for their family. Being diagnosed with a chronic condition at a young age also presents some unique emotional challenges.
Consideration should be given to involving the allied health team (physiotherapist, occupational therapist and speech and swallowing therapist) even at this early stage. Suggestions for therapy and home exercise programs will form a helpful basis for the years to come.
Parkinson’s is a long-term condition which is not considered life-threatening. With regular medical reviews, appropriate medication regimes, exercise and a positive attitude good quality of life is achievable. Ongoing support of family and friends and maintaining social contact is essential. Parkinson’s NSW InfoLine are here to help and support you. If you have any questions please call them on 1800 644 189.