A visit to Parkinson’s South Australia

The photo above is of a rainbow lorikeet sitting on the railing munching on some seeds – not at all bothered by us humans chatting so close to him.

G’day from South Australia – week 2
Every year when I visit here, I like to catch up with our friends at Parkinson’s South Australia. Last week I met with Olivia Nassaris, their CEO. Exciting things are happening for Parkinson’s SA under Olivia’s leadership, including the Brain X Body Fitness Studio that they are building next door to their current offices, which will include new office space as well. They hope to open later this month and I was able to look around and see how it’s all progressing. Click here to read more about Brain X Body Fitness and how it will enable people to reach and maintain optimum brain and body health. This new studio will be available to the public as well as the Parkinson’s community, and will help to fund Parkinson’s SA.

Parkinson’s SA is also funding its first research project, a proof-of-concept trial, of a promising therapy – Photobiomodulation – designed by Australian Parkinson’s researchers. Outcomes will be presented at their conference on September 10.

I first learned about Parkinson’s when I lived in South Australia. My first boss, owner of a couple of bookshops and a publishing company lived with Parkinson’s. In recent years when I’ve returned to visit mum, I’ve learned of people I knew back when I lived here who are now living with Parkinson’s. It seems so strange to think how our paths have crossed in such a different way after all these years. There are about 8,000 people living with Parkinson’s here in South Australia with about 80,000 in the whole of Australia. I always look forward to learning what the Parkinson organizations here do to support their community.

Loretta Veney
Susan Dietrich, Coordinator, American Parkinson Disease Association Information & Referral Center of Virginia, asked me to share this website with you: https://lorettaveney.com/.
Loretta Veney is a caregiver, and a motivational speaker and author (Being My Mom’s Mom and Refreshment for the Caregiver’s Sprit). Susan invited us to look at Loretta’s website which includes a blog. Perhaps there will be something there that could be helpful to you or someone you know. I heard Loretta speak at a caregiver event a couple of years ago and she was a very engaging speaker.

Parkinson’s Foundation Webinar
Expert Briefing: Communication Strategies for Optimal Success

Tuesday, September 17 from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET
To kick off their 11th Expert Briefings series, Parkinson’s Foundation invite you to join their new webinar platform, where you’ll be able to see the presenters speak and answer your questions in real time!
Speaker: Angela Roberts, PhD, Assistant Professor at Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Northwestern University (Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence)
Description: Meaningful conversations allow us to create and maintain relationships in our lives. However, changes in the body associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), including facial expression, speech, cognition and hearing can interfere with successful communication between people with Parkinson’s and their partners. In this webinar, Angela Roberts will focus on conversation difficulties in the context of PD and will provide communication strategies for successful conversation interactions.
How to Watch: Register here.
CEUs: If you are a healthcare professional or social worker, please click here for details on how you can obtain one continuing education credit.
For more details, please contact the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or helpline@parkinson.org.

U-Step walkerFree to Give Away: U-Step Walker and ROHO Cushion

I’ve been contacted by a recently widowed lady who would like to donate her late husband’s U-Step walker. The U-Step is designed for people living with Parkinson’s and has a special brake system that makes it safer to use than the usual rollator. With the U-Step, you have to squeeze the handles in order to move with it and the brakes kick in when you let go.

ROHO cushion
She would also like to donate his ROHO cushion which helps to relieve pressure sores for someone who needs to spend a lot of time seated.

If you know someone who would find these items helpful, please email me at Sonia@ParkinsonSocialNetwork.org and I’ll connect you with the donor.

Our Side by Side support groups meet again next Wednesday, August 14. We will be visited by Dr. Melanie Bush, a physical therapist who is coming to answer our questions about getting out of bed, in and out of cars, how to put on pull on sweaters, and more. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP and send me your questions so Dr. Bush can know which of her handy gadgets she should bring. For more information about our Side by Side support groups click here.

I hope this newsletter is helpful and we’ll see you Out & About soon!

email: Sonia@ParkinsonSocialNetwork.org

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