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Staying connected over the festive season

Christmas and the New Year can be a busy time! January can also be a time when things slow down, usual social activities pause, support groups take a break and family-based activities dominate.

The festive season - sometimes referred to as the “silly” season - is not, for some, always cheerful and jolly. People who have Parkinson’s may feel fatigued or unwell during this period. It can also be a time of reflection often due to usual routines being on hold, and worries about the upcoming year may surface.

This time of year can also highlight the loss of past activities, with memories of past occasions prior to Parkinson’s predominating one's lives, when you could eat and drink all you wanted and when medication was not required like clockwork!
Things to do to stay COOL, CALM and CONNECTED:
  • Keep in touch with other support group members – if you know someone is on their own, make a phone call and arrange a catch up over a cup of coffee
  • If the weather heats up over December/January, plan ahead and organise a visit to the cinema (usually nice and cool) with a friend
  • Visit your local library, often a calm and peaceful space to visit, read magazines or seek out a book you have always wanted to read. Most libraries close on Public Holidays only, but check your local library for opening hours.
  • If you come across someone looking sad, ask them if they are OK. If they are NOT OK, there is LIFELINE 24 hour crisis counselling, ph. 13 11 14
  • For those people who are feeling extremely alone, there is the Victorian Suicideline - a free professional, anonymous, support service 24 hours a day, seven days per week across Victoria - ph. 1300 651 251 or online
  • Look after yourself. If you are a partner, spouse or carer of someone with Parkinson’s, think of something that gives you pleasure and plan short breaks in some form or another. If you keep well, you will be able to sustain your usual activities with more strength and energy.

Parkinson's Victoria will be closed from 5pm Friday December 22nd till 9am Tuesday January 2nd.  
If you require emergency assistance during this time, please visit your nearest hospital or dial 000.


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