Staying socially connected with new friends and old is difficult for anyone, and can be made even more difficult when living with Parkinson’s. It is easy to feel isolated and want to keep to yourself, but life is far more enjoyable when lived in the company of others.
Make it a point to get outside the home at least once a week. Even if it is just for a quick visit next door to talk to ask the neighbor how she was able to grow roses in difficult soil; the topic or length of the conversation is not as important as making the effort to connect to someone face to face. This is particularly true if you find people have difficulty understanding you over poor phone connections.
Contact friends and family through electronic avenues – email, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace. While electronic communication should not be used as a complete substitute for person to person communication, it is an easy way to keep up to date on the everyday lives of others, thus giving you conversation starters for your next visit or phone call.
Make the conscious decision every week to be more socially active. Make new friends, strengthen relationships with long-time friends and keep in contact with family. Talking to others, particularly when it is not focused purely on Parkinson’s, can help to brighten your mood and build your confidence. Don’t let Parkinson’s lessen the enjoyment you get from spending time with others.