Living with Parkinson's disease can be challenging, and finding a supportive community can be an important part of managing day-to-day. Local support groups, for example, offer not only comfort and a reminder that you are not alone– they are also a wealth of information and resources.
Here's a guide to help you find the right group for you.
Local Parkinson's Support Groups
Local support groups are often the first line of connection for people living with Parkinson's disease. These groups provide a safe space to share experiences, tips, and emotional support. To find the right local support group:
- Ask your healthcare provider: Your neurologist or Parkinson's specialist may be able to recommend local support groups, including those that cater to specific needs.
- Use online directories: Websites like the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) and the Parkinson's Foundation offer searchable directories to help you find local support groups. These directories often include details about meeting times, locations, and contact information.
- Attend meetings: It can be helpful to go to a few different meetings to see which is the best fit for you. Factors like group size, member demographics, and the overall atmosphere are important to consider. Some groups may be more focused on emotional support, while others may emphasize education and information-sharing.
Valuable Organizations Offering Support and Information
In addition to local support groups, there are several organizations that can offer resources and help:
American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA):
- Website: APDA Website
- Comprehensive resource hub with educational materials, support services, and local events.
- Connect with experts who specialize in Parkinson's care.
- Website: Parkinson's Foundation
- Extensive information on living with Parkinson's, clinical trials, and caregiving.
- Access educational events, webinars, and community forums.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research:
- Website: Michael J. Fox Foundation
- Leading advocate for Parkinson's research, providing updates on advancements.
- Engage in clinical trials and find resources for managing life with Parkinson's.
- Website: PD Avengers
- Global community of advocates working toward a world without Parkinson's.
- Join the movement to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and support research.
Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s:
- Website: Davis Phinney Foundation
- Focuses on living well with Parkinson's through educational programs and tools.
- Offers resources for exercise, nutrition, and maintaining a positive mindset.
Parkinson's Unity Walk:
- Website: Unity Walk
- An annual event supporting research and awareness.
- Join the walk or explore virtual participation options to show solidarity.
To learn more about the benefits of joining a support group, head to this blog post where we explore how these groups can make a positive impact on your life.