Barbara Fradkin – Special to FLORIDA TODAY
Reader Question: I was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Who besides my doctor can I talk to about this?
Answer: I am a co-facilitator of the Parkinson’s Support Group at One Senior Place. Our group started several years ago when a gentleman by the name of Larry Smith came to One Senior Place looking for some assistance.
New to the area, Larry had lived with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade and wanted to start a support group. One Senior Place jumped in and the rest is history.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, after Alzheimer’s. Its development is different in every individual.
If you have a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, others in a support group can be a vital part of your care team.
Management of Parkinson’s can be complicated, including challenges in diagnosis, medications, hospitalization, nutrition and exercise.
While there is no cure, there is help and hope.
Experts agree that exercise is crucial to maintaining good balance and preventing falls.
Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery (PWR) is one of the ways you can exercise and maintain your strength.
This occupational therapy is available through Aquatic Health and Rehab in Viera.
Rock Steady Boxing is another form of exercise that is gaining in popularity among Parkinson’s patients.
Fun and challenging, Rock Steady Boxing is offered in four Brevard locations: Unlimited Kickboxing in Merritt Island, Fyzical in Indialantic, Advance Fitness in Melbourne and T’Ville Uppercut in Titusville.
Healthcare providers realize your needs for care and support go beyond symptom management.
Treatment should also address your physical, social and emotional needs.
Fortunately, there are now a number of Parkinson’s resource groups in Brevard, coordinating services and information for everyone in our 72-mile long county.
There are meetings conducted from The Fountains of Melbourne, Central Brevard Public Library (Cocoa), One Senior Place in Viera, and Parrish Health in Titusville.
Currently meeting by Zoom, these support groups will resume in-person meetings once the danger from Covid has passed.
Remember: Support comes in different forms, and there are many resources available!
What matters is finding the right mix of care and support that works for you.
Consider joining a support group with others who are on the same journey.
Keep communication open and honest with healthcare providers and the care partners who are helping you.
Great information is available at www.Parkinson.org/newlydiagnosed and www.michaeljfox.org. And if you’re ready, check out our Parkinson Support Group on April 5th via Zoom. For a link or information about this or other Parkinson’s support groups, send an email to AskOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com. You are not alone.
One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. To submit a question, send an email to askOSP@OneSeniorPlace.com or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at OneSeniorPlace.com.
Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director for One Senior Place, Viera.