Parkinson’s Network North wants to provide support and answer your questions. Call us at (Maxine Meach) 231-947-1946 or (Hettie Molvang) 231-947-7389 and we’ll be happy to talk to you.
You can also consult our List of Meetings to locate a support group near you.
Who knows more about Parkinson’s than the people who live with it and their partners who help with the struggle? A support group brings together people with a common bond. A support group validates your concerns by looking after your emotional needs. How many people, after their first visit to a Parkinson’s support group, say, “And I thought I was the only one with this problem!”
Parkinson’s Network North is a tremendous pool of knowledge and experience. The group can help you:
- Learn to cope with the day-to-day challenges
- Find out how to get the most from your visit to the doctor
- Ask intelligent questions about medication and therapy
- Learn how to instruct the hospital staff in the event of an admission
- Prepare to tell family and friends about Parkinson’s
- Learn to empathize with other people in the same situation
- Maintain a positive attitude and even laugh at adversity
- Identify what’s important in life and what can be left behind
Support groups become a large family of understanding, sympathetic, and encouraging patients, caregivers, and concerned friends. Each group has a personality, defined by its members. Some people may attend more than one support group, because their needs are greater than can be satisfied once a month.
Support groups are informal – all are welcome. Often, there will be a speaker – doctor, pharmacist, therapist, counselor, humorist, lawyer, or other professional. Some meetings will be a free-spirited discussion among its members about topics of great interest. Or the facilitator may have arranged something special – dinner at a restaurant or a trip to the park. Don’t be afraid to speak to the facilitator about what interests you.
There’s a saying that you get as much from an activity as you put into it. Nobody will force you to speak during a group discussion, but you will benefit more if you share your feelings and thoughts. The facilitator always appreciates a helping hand, even if it is an occasional few minutes to help greet new members or to organize one meeting.
Contributed by David Bartczak