People with Parkinson’s & Caregivers Support Groups
When most people receive the diagnosis “You have beginning stages of Parkinson’s…,” reactions can be denial, fear, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, and “What do I do now?”
Doctors, as competent and wonderful as they may be, are trained to inform patients from the clinical perspective. While that is necessary in order to begin this unexpected (and unwelcome!) change in one’s life, what is really needed now that the newly-diagnosed person with Parkinson’s has been medically informed is:
1. Education about the future with Parkinson’s disease; and 2. A plan for living well with it.
The place to begin is getting information, doing personal research, sharing the news with family and close friends, and finding support and a “road map” for this new journey. Support groups are composed of other people who are going down the same road and have an understanding that no one else could really have. They offer helpful advice, suggestions and ideas for coping with difficult situations – because they have experienced many of the same things. However, the most significant thing the support groups can provide is a safe place where difficult discussions can take place in confidence and where understanding, acceptance and encouragement are present, always available and only a phone call or text message away.
The Parkinson’s Outreach Association (POA) provides activities, unique exercise programs, educational seminars, and helpful and educational literature that answer questions including: “What is Parkinson’s, why do I have it, what do I do now, what are treatments, what is the prognosis, what doctors do I need, etc.?” In addition, we also offer a support group for people with Parkinson’s and a separate meeting taking place simultaneously in another room for caregivers. The support groups are held on the fourth Saturday of each month (except November and December) from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Parkinson’s Outreach Association office (285 Pinewood Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303). Both groups provide the opportunity to discuss concerns, ask questions, encourage each other and enjoy the socialization in a comfortable and confidential environment.
The Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH) Parkinson’s Support Group, sponsored by TMH, provides speakers from various Parkinson’s-specific areas of interest as well as topics of significant importance to our Parkinson’s constituency. The group meets at the POA’s office in Tallahassee on the second Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. For more information on the TMH Parkinson’s Support Group, please call 850-431-5002.
We invite and encourage anyone on this journey, including people with Parkinson’s as well as their caregivers and families, to call our office and find out how, when and where to get connected with an amazing group of people who will be more than happy to welcome you into our Parkinson’s family. Together, we can learn and search for ways to live well with Parkinson’s – you are not alone!
Contact the POA at (850) 364-0230 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.