Receiving a Parkinson’s diagnosis affects people differently. When Parkinson’s comes into your life, you may be uncertain about what the future holds for you and your loved ones. Every hour of every day, someone in Australia is told they have Parkinson’s. No one has to face Parkinson’s alone.
It can take many years for symptoms to progress to a point where they cause serious problems. Many people find that knowledge reduces their fear of the unknown. We can help with information about symptoms as they arise and advise on how best to manage them.
If you are a family member or carer, you will probably have many questions and will need information about how to manage various symptoms and provide emotional and practical help to your loved one. We understand that caring can take its toll on the carer, which is why our support is here for you too.
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.
The InfoLine is staffed by health professionals and is the first point of call for all your questions. Our Parkinson’s nurse specialists can help you gain a better understanding of Parkinson’s, give advice, and provide the latest research. We can also point you in the right direction for services and other supports in your local area.
Living with Parkinson’s can be isolating, so meeting other people who understand can have a positive impact. We coordinate a network of more than 70 Support Groups across New South Wales, along with special networks for people with early onset Parkinson’s (under 60 years), women only and men only groups. These groups give you the chance to share experiences, hear about new developments from health professionals and meet a new circle of friends.
We are all about managing Parkinson’s symptoms and to improve quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s including family and other support networks. Exercise along with knowledge and medication management are effective ways to improve quality of life.
The key to beneficial exercise is consistency, force and complexity such as boxing, weight training and obstacle runs.
Read more about specific exercises and the benefits here
Parkinson’s does not mean you need to stop driving however staying safe on the roads is the number one consideration.
While many factors contribute to safety on the road, driver health and fitness to drive is an important consideration. Drivers must meet certain medical standards to ensure their health status does not unduly increase their crash risk.
Find out more about assessing fitness to drive
Ideally a person with Parkinson’s will be able to continue working. If your treatment is carefully managed and you have plenty of support, it is possible to continue working for many years.
Read more about working and Parkinson’s
Partners and family members may be aware of subtle changes even before formal medical diagnosis. These may include lack of motivation and spontaneity in addition to the more recognised symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Relationships may be affected because of the commonly encountered changes related to Parkinson’s. Our Specialist Counsellors are skilled in a whole range of issues surrounding Parkinson’s and relationships
Read more about maintaining healthy relationships