World Parkinsons Day
April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day. It’s an international day of recognition for Parkinson’s - a time to raise awareness of how the condition affects individuals and their families and to encourage further research into prevention and cure.
Parkinson’s Victoria provides specialist advice and support for people living with Parkinson’s, their families, carers and healthcare professionals through tailored health education programs and seminars and a free and confidential health information service.
“We know from speaking to many people in our community that frustration often comes from lack of understanding about the condition,” said Parkinson’s Victoria CEO Emma Collin.
“Motor - or movement - symptoms are the better known but as those living with Parkinson’s know all too well, non-motor symptoms can be just as concerning.
They can include a range of issues affecting mental health, cognitive and bodily function, as well as pain and anxiety,” she said.
In the lead up to World Parkinson’s Day, Parkinson’s Victoria asked its community what they wished more people knew about the condition. Their responses provide real-life insight into Parkinson’s:
They want you to know what Parkinson’s:
- is not just an older person’s disease, but can also affect younger people.
- is not always a person who has the shakes
- drains my energy and affects everything I do
- symptoms are not always visible
- is not always easy to explain
- can affect the whole family
- is not a death sentence, but can make life more difficult
- limited my career opportunities and reduced my workload
- has reduced my EQ (emotional intelligence) and confidence
- has made mixing in crowded rooms stressful
However, Parkinson’s also:
- benefits from exercise and a positive attitude
- has strengthened my resilience
- has allowed me to see the best in people around me, including strangers
- challenges me every day to be a kinder and more accepting person than I was yesterday
- does not make you a sufferer unless you choose to let it make you a victim
- doesn't stop you from doing what you have always done, you just have to do things differently.
- does not define you! It affects everyone differently and is life changing but the Parkinson’s community is full of loving caring people
Ms Collins said one of the difficulties of Parkinson’s was that symptoms varied between individuals and there was no set pathway for when and how fast they will progress.
“A Parkinson’s diagnosis is life changing, but being resilient, adapting and arming yourself with knowledge is key to living life to the fullest. As is not facing the journey alone,” she said.
Parkinson’s Victoria’s Ask the Expert Series recently featured Prof. David Finkelstein, head of the Parkinson’s Disease Research Laboratory at The Florey Institute, who focussed on research and the hope for early identification of Parkinson’s. Read more here
Parkinson's Victoria community personal stories:
Uncover stories of personal experiences from people living with Parkinson's. Get a little snapshot into different Parkinson's journeys.