Understanding and Patience

non verbal does not mean . . .

I hope this doesn’t sound like a lecture and you’re wondering what prompted this? But when I read it, I thought of our friends living with Parkinson’s and how they’ve talked about how frustrating interactions with some people can be. I came across this graphic thanks to a post on Facebook by the Cerebral Palsy Society of New Zealand, but I felt that it applies to people living with Parkinson’s, too.

Sometimes our friends can be slow to respond and are considered non-verbal. Sometimes their facial expressions don’t show how they are feeling the way they used to.

People living with Parkinson’s still think, hear, understand and feel. To this message of “Let’s practice non ignorance” I would add “Let’s practice patience”.

The young lady who shared the above graphic is a speech language pathologist who also lives with Crohn’s disease. She has often shared posts about how frustrating it can be when people don’t believe she’s ill because she doesn’t look like she is. I know this happens with people living with Parkinson’s, too, particularly with young onset. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say, “He/She doesn’t look like they have Parkinson’s!”

Which brings me to an article I read this week through Parkinson’s Life out of Europe – “There’s a stigma that if you don’t ‘look sick’ then there is nothing wrong”. I imagine quite a few of our readers can relate to what the author has to say.
** The author mentions that she started a Facebook group called StrongHer: Women Fighting Parkinson’s. There are over 1,100 women worldwide in this community of support.

Here’s an event that looks like fun and features the chef from Brandywine Assisted Living – our hosts for Cafe Alexandria.
Senior Health & Fitness Fair – Alexandria
Wednesday, May 29, 9:30 am – 12 Noon,

At: The Lee Center,
1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria
This annual Health and Fitness Fair is sponsored by the City’s Successful Aging Committee and will feature a discussion from Inova Alexandria Hospital about how to maintain a healthy weight as we age, and good nutrition tips. Breakout sessions follow with a cooking demonstration from Brandywine Assisted Living’s chef; healthy screening for blood pressure and glaucoma as well as fitness programs including tai-chi. This popular event is a lot of fun. It is free with light refreshments. RSVP online at senior health fair or call 703-836-4414, ext. 110.  Click here for their event flyer.

Cafe Fairfax is really hopping this week!
Grace Lynch from Fairfax County has been so helpful in getting the word out about our Parkinson Social Network and our events. She will be visiting us with Jim Person to help us understand how we can access the many podcasts and webinars that we can use to learn about all kinds of things from the comfort of our homes. We will also be visited by Mike Harrigan and participate in brain and body activities.

Hope to see you Out & About soon! Will we see you at Cafe Fairfax?

email: Sonia@ParkinsonSocialNetwork.org

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