Parkinson’s UK Scotland is encouraging people of working age with Parkinson’s in the Western Isles to meet with others and find out more about living well with the condition, at a free online event in November.
The Scotland-wide event is open to people with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Partners, adult family members or friends are also welcome.
Drop-in sessions covering a range of topics will start on Wednesday 11 November and be run flexibly over 3 weeks. Many of the sessions will be led by people with Parkinson’s and their partners, who developed the programme based on their experiences of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a younger age.
Session topics will include Parkinson’s and employment, financial benefits, Parkinson's research, medication, and navigating the health service. There will be opportunities to share hints and tips and find out about the support that partners, family members and friends can access.
The varied programme also features opportunities to try out activities that many people with Parkinson’s find helpful to manage symptoms, from singing and mindfulness to drumming, exercise and more.
David Allan who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 50 in 2011 and is one of the volunteers with Parkinson’s hosting the event said: “If you're diagnosed with Parkinson's while you're of working age, your concerns are likely to be about more than health. You might worry about your personal relationships, children, work, keeping a roof over your head and paying the bills, and what the future will hold. It can be a very isolating place to be.
“Our Younger Parkinson's Event is an opportunity to meet others in a similar situation in Scotland and try something new. As people who live with Parkinson’s every day, we know what it’s like to be told you have Parkinson’s and to try and make sense of what that means. Our experiences means we know what people find helpful - and we also know that every one of us is different, with unique experiences to share.
“We want this to be a friendly and welcoming experience for everyone who joins in, wherever you live in Scotland and however long you have lived with Parkinson’s.”
Chloe Macmillan, Area Development Manager for Parkinson’s UK Scotland said:“Parkinson’s affects people of all ages, and we know that there are around 1,800 people under 65 who’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s in Scotland, including a small number of people in the Western Isles.
"We know that it can be particularly isolating to be a younger person with Parkinson’s when there are very few people in a similar situation nearby. One advantage of moving the event online this year is that it makes it much easier for people from the Western Isles to join in without having to travel to the mainland.
“People with Parkinson’s have told us that their symptoms and wellbeing have got a lot worse during the pandemic, and some people have had NHS consultations cancelled or delayed. Now more than ever, we want younger people with Parkinson’s to know that they are not on their own, and find out more about things that can help.
“Our face-to-face events are always oversubscribed, and attendees have told us that having information about Parkinson’s and things that can help with day to day life is invaluable. Meeting other people facing similar challenges, concerns and opportunities can make a massive difference, and we hope this online event will be as helpful in these difficult times.”
To find out more about the event, please visit http://prksn.uk/yp2020prog
Find out more about Parkinson’s at www.parkinsons.org.uk.