Federated Health Charities’ mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Ontarians by supporting 21 different health charities providing critical services to those experiencing, or affected by, illness. We believe education and prevention are key parts of supporting the health of our communities, so our weekly Health Hint series strives to provide tangible and easy to implement hints and tips on how to maintain your health, prevent disease, and enjoy increased quality of life. Check out our latest Health Hint on the supports available for those living with Parkinson’s disease. We hope you find it helpful. If you would like to join our efforts to support the health of Ontario, please consider a donation to Federated Health Charities.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with it for awhile, Parkinson’s can be overwhelming and can turn your entire life upside down. It requires significant lifestyle changes, access to appropriate supports, and a comprehensive medical team. Knowing where to turn can be one of the most difficult steps, so this article is here to point you in the right direction.
What is Parkinson’s?
According to the Mayo Clinic “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and the parts of the body controlled by the nerves” (May Clinic, 2022). Parkinson Canada describes the disease as a “neurodegenerative disease. Movement is normally controlled by dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in the brain. When cells that normally produce dopamine die, the symptoms of Parkinson’s appear.”
How Many People are Living with Parkinson’s?
Currently, there are more than 100,000 people in Canada living with Parkinson’s. There are approximately 25 new diagnosis of the disease each day (Parkinson Canada, n.d.).
Symptoms of Parkinson’s
Symptoms of the disease can be a slow to start and may barely be noticeable, in the beginning.
Some of the most common symptoms include tremors, muscle rigidity, impaired balance, slowness, and stiffness (Parkinson Canada, n.d.). Additional symptoms experienced, by some, include sleep disturbances and fatigue, constipation, stooped posture, soft speech, and difficulties writing (Parkinson Canada, n.d.).
Canadian Guideline for Parkinson’s Disease
Whether you are newly diagnosed, or have been living with the disease for awhile, it is always advantageous to inform yourself. This makes it easier for yourself and your loved ones to mange the disease and can significantly increase quality of life.
This guide provides best practice information to guide you through the process of diagnosis, treatment, and management of Parkinson’s disease.
Living with Parkinson’s
Coping with an initial diagnosis is the first difficult step of Parkinson’s but learning to live with the disease is the next important focus. Here you can find an abundance of resources that give you information on the best ways to exercise and eat, dealing with stigma, and what support groups are available.
How Parkinson’s Canada Can Help?
Parkinson’s Canada is one of the 21 charities supported by Federated Health. Their focus is on supporting those living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones. At Parkinson Canada you can access a team of people who are available to answer questions, provide guidance, and offer support. They can provide information and resources, help you understand your diagnosis, assist you in managing your Parkinson’s, and connect you to other living with the disease.
You and your loved ones do not have to go through this process alone and can contact Parkinson Canada at 1-802-565-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs Near You
Parkinson Canada offers many supportive programs across country. This helpful tool lets you search what programs are happening in your specific community.
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