I started my support group a year after I was diagnosed in April 2004. It is still going strong today. A couple of years ago, I decided that there was a need to form a sub-group for carers in our group. This would give them the opportunity to discuss their issues and concerns and be able to talk freely without the presence of their partners. This has been a great success and as a consequence have just started another sub-group for those who have Parkinson's and live on their own.
In addition I have also organised a singing group (we've not quite reached choir status yet!) but with a difference. I have been able to obtain the services of a speech technician to help us with voice strengthening strategies with the hope that it will help make us speak better and be heard and also to deliver, hopefully, melodious singing.
My next target is to get leisure centres to organise group exercise sessions (iwith a physio or qualified trainer present) so that PWPs can attend locally rather than having to travel distances to get to their nearest extend or exercise classes.
I am posting this for several reasons:
- organising and running a support group has helped me deal with my Parkinson's enormously
- as I run this group without a committee, it keeps me organised and active
- to also say that I have had the privilege to meet so many people - with and without Parkinson's - who are very positive minded in handling their condition and keep very active and those who give of their time to help others unconditionally and generously
Living with Parkinson's is a challenge but having read the various posts in this Forum, I am impressed by the thoughts and consideration shown by so many people genuinely concerned for their fellow sufferers.