The First Five Steps

Parkinson’s disease is not fatal – in fact, you can live a long, happy and fulfilling life with Parkinson’s. We are here to help make that happen.

STEP ONE

Grieve. It’s OK. According to the Center for Grief and Healing, “trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run” and “feeling sad, frightened or lonely is a normal reaction to loss”. You don’t need to put on a brave front for your loved ones. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.

STEP TWO

Build a team of support.  Your doctor, counselor, spouse or significant other, family members, friends, support groups, and the Parkinson’s Association are here for you.

Hands

 

 

 

 

 

STEP THREE

Educate yourself about Parkinson’s disease. We offer a wealth of free materials and a lending library. Please be aware that there is a lot of misinformation and unproven claims on the Internet. If you read something online that you haven’t heard of before, anything that claims to be a huge breakthrough, or simply needs clarification, give us a call.

As you do your research, you will learn that Parkinson’s comes in many forms and that no two people with Parkinson’s have the exact same symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medications for you to help minimize your symptoms, while someone else could be prescribed different medications entirely. Your doctor may advise surgery for someone else, but not for you.

Parkinson’s disease is slow but progressive, and symptoms generally worsen over time, so it’s smart to educate yourself and prepare for the future NOW.  We can help you plan for retirement, understand your legal rights, find low-cost and accessible public transportation, learn the facts about disability and Medicare, etc.


STEP FOUR

Even if it’s the last thing you feel like doing, get up and EXERCISE. It has been scientifically proven that exercise is highly therapeutic for people with Parkinson’s – the more strenuous, the better. Throughout the county, trained Parkinson’s professionals teach yoga, boxing, aerobics, dance, tai chi, weight training, endurance, balance, swimming, and more. There are four Parkinson’s Association Wellness Centers in San Diego that offer state-of-the-art gyms, exercise classes, special educational events and support groups for people with Parkinson’s – all under one roof. The Wellness Centers offer reduced membership rates for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners.

Exercise

 

 

 

 

 

STEP FIVE

Choose happiness. You only get one life, so get out there and live yours to the fullest. San Diego has an active, educated and tight-knit Parkinson’s support community ready and anxious to welcome you.

There is great comfort in spending time with other people affected by Parkinson’s because they really understand what you’re going through. People who attend our various support groups say that being able to share their experiences, knowledge, achievements and frustrations with others who are in the same situation is cathartic and life-affirming.  We have support groups for the newly diagnosed, for people with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, for care partners, and those with Atypical Parkinson’s disease. We have a group for you.

Nordic Walking in Autumn mountains at sunset

For camaraderie and well-being, join one of our support groups and/or AudAbility singing workshop