Parkinson Social Network

Check out what’s happening in Northern Virginia for Parkinson’s Awareness Month!

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

PSN will be out and about in the community
raising awareness, learning from others,
and catching up with friends.
Hope you can join us!

Please help us with planning
and click on the links to RSVP for the events you’d like to attend.
Family and friends are welcome to join us, too!

PSN Outreach event at Virginia Hospital Center
Monday, April 1 – no joke!!

11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Virginia Hospital Center – main hospital, outside the cafeteria
1701 N George Mason Drive, Arlington, VA 22205
We’ll raise awareness about Parkinson’s by sharing information about Parkinson’s and local resources. At previous outreach events we’ve reached out to families touched by Parkinson’s to let them know they are not alone, and educated medical professionals so they have a better understanding of Parkinson’s and can provide better care.
I hope you can join us! Even if it’s for only part of the time – sharing your stories, and listening to others can really make a difference in someone’s life.
Contact Sonia at for more information.

Side by Side Support Groups
– Wednesday, April 10

For those with Parkinson’s and those who care . . .
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
2nd Wednesday  of each month at:

Virginia Hospital Center, Urgent Care  – Carlin Springs
601 S Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington, VA 22204
Enter via the Urgent Care Center entrance, turn right into the Wellness Room
A new kind of support group in Northern Virginia!
Two support groups, each in their own space next to each other.
1)  For caregivers – to share and learn from each other
2)  For people with Parkinson’s – to engage in group activities and share with each other.
Free and all are welcome!
To help us with planning, please let us know if you’d like to attend.
Click here to RSVP or email

A Journey of Living Well with Parkinson’s
Thursday, April 11 – World Parkinson’s Day!

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
At: Tall Oaks Assisted Living
12052 N Shore Drive, Reston, VA 20190
Presented by Karl and Angela Robb, author of A Soft Voice in a Noisy World who has lived with Parkinson’s disease for thirty years, and his wife/carepartner, respectively; and Dr. Falconer, co-director of the Movement Disorder Program, INOVA Hospital.
Join us as Karl shares his positive attitude about living with Parkinson’s, and learn about the latest medical advancements from Dr. Falconer.
Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.
Call 703-834-9800 or email

Cafe Alexandria – Monday, April 15

11:00 am to 1:00 pm (light lunch – click here to RSVP )
3rd Monday of each month at:
Brandywine Living at Alexandria
5550 Cardinal Place, Alexandria, VA 22304 map
(703) 940-3300

This is a brand new building on a new street so if your GPS doesn’t recognize the Cardinal Place address try:
450 South Pickett Street, Alexandria alternate map for GPS
PARKING is underground and accessible from the back of the building.

Cafe Fairfax – Wednesday, April 17

10:00 am to 12 noon (coffee & donuts – click here to RSVP)
3rd Wednesday of each month at:
Insight Memory Care Center,
Linda and Lou Mazawey Education & Support Center
3955 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030    map
(703) 204-4664

From Waples Mill Road turn onto Pender Drive.
Then turn right at the 2nd driveway;
head straight back,
the road will curve around to the left and 3955 will be on your left.

But wait! There’s more!
Classes for Caregivers follow Cafe Fairfax from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
We are welcome to stay at Insight after the cafe, and participate in this program that is specifically designed to assist family caregivers.
All sessions are FREE, and respite care may be available by request; please notify us when registering to confirm availability.
You can sign up hereor contact Lindsey Vajpeyi at or 703-204-4664.
Click here to check out Insight’s events calendar for details about their other classes, workshops, support groups, and social events.

Cafe Ashburn – Wednesday, April 24

11:00 am to 1:00 pm (light lunch – click here to RSVP)
4th Wednesday of each month at:
**NEW LOCATION!** as of April 2019
Waltonwood at Ashburn
44141 Russell Branch Pkwy, Ashburn, VA 20147 map
It’s not far from our previous location – about 2 minutes more down the road.
Call (571) 266-1810 for directions.

PSN Outreach event at Fair Oaks Hospital
– Monday, April 22 & Friday, April 26

11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Fair Oaks Hospital, in the main lobby, in front of the cafeteria
3600 Joseph Siewick Dr, Fairfax, VA 22033
Free valet parking!
We’ll raise awareness about Parkinson’s by sharing information about Parkinson’s and local resources. At previous outreach events we’ve reached out to families touched by Parkinson’s to let them know they are not alone, and educated medical professionals so they have a better understanding of Parkinson’s and can provide better care.
I hope you can join us! Even if it’s for only part of the time – sharing your stories, and listening to others can really make a difference in someone’s life.
Contact Sonia at for more information.

Pints for Parkinson'sPints for Parkinson’s – Saturday, April 27

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
At: Tysons Biergarten
8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner, Virginia
This event is hosted by Alec Langstein and Rock Steady Boxing NOVA
Come support family and friends, grab a beer, and help fight back against Parkinson’s disease. All donations and percentage of sales will be given to the local non-profit Parkinson Social Network who is committed to bringing together the Parkinson’s community of Northern Virginia to inform, inspire and unify those living with Parkinson’s.
Online Donations:
– You can donate online at
– PLEASE read the parking information on the Tysons Biergarten website – There is free parking with validation in the parking garage next door!

Parkinson’s and Poetry

April is Parkinson’s Awareness and National Poetry Month!
This morning I remembered something I learned a few years ago –  that Parkinson’s brings out the creativity in people. When I looked on Google, I found a number of articles about it, including this one from Parkinson’s Life – Why are people with Parkinson’s more creative? In our Parkinson community I know people who are artists, photographers and authors. I’ve also read some very personal and moving poems written by people with Parkinson’s. For the past couple of years in South Australia, I’ve attended a combined art and poetry exhibit held by Parkinson’s SA. So with all these thoughts running through my mind (it gets kind of crowded in there sometimes!), I am delighted to share a couple of messages about poetry from Parkinson’s Life, in Europe, and the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation based in Seattle.

I’m looking forward to reading the submissions to both websites! Are you a poet? Or would like try writing poetry? If you’d like to share, please send your poems to, and I can share them through our newsletter and website.

Clinton recently visited our cafes to talk with us about this latest study.
Volunteers Needed for Movement Study
This 12-week study is on the effects of multi-modal exercise training on walking economy in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. You can arrange the times that best suits you and parking will be free.
At: Rehabilitation Science Laboratory
Peterson Family Health Science Hall
George Mason University, Fairfax Campus
For information please contact: Andrew Pechstein at
or Clinton Wutzke at or (703) 993-1903

APDA Optimism Walk
Saturday, April 13, 9:00 am – 12 noon
Neptune Park (31st and the Boardwalk) ,Virginia Beach
The Optimism Walk is the major Hampton Roads event of the APDA “American Parkinson’s Optimism” education and fundraising activities. The primary focus of the Optimism Walk is to educate the community about Parkinson Disease and present local resources to support people with Parkinson Disease and their care partners, family, friends, and the community at large.
• Registration is free and open to the public; donations are accepted
• Parkinson Disease Education Pavilion – more than 25 PD education exhibits and information
• Therapist led movement, exercise demonstration and activities, and games for people with Parkinson Disease and attendee participation
• “Stroll” for all activity levels – 9 blocks along the Virginia Beach oceanfront
For details on setting up your team or joining one,  call 757-495-3062 or

I learned about this workshop this week. It’s a joint effort of Inova Mt. Vernon Hospital and AARP. If you attend this event, I’d love to hear your feedback!
Lunch and Learn: Taking the Health Care Journey: Putting the Pieces Together
Wednesday, Apr 24, 12 noon to 1:30pm
Inova Mount Vernon Hospital
2501 Parkers Lane, 2nd Floor, Engh Conference Center, Alexandria

In today’s world, there are numerous health care components one must consider upon returning home from the hospital. In this session, you’ll learn about the different pieces of the health care journey: from rehabilitation to home health care to hospice services to care management and everything in between. Our panel of experts will help you understand what you need to know about the many pieces of the health care journey.

Space is limited each month to the first 50 respondents; register today!
These events are open to the public and all are welcome.
The fee to cover lunch: $5 cash or check only – payable at the door.
No products or services will be sold or promoted at these events.
Click here for more information.

Dance for PD® released it’s streamed class for March
Anyone can join these classes from the comfort of their home! This particular class is taught by Sarah Marcus. Click here to view and participate in Sarah’s class. There’s a new class available every month, usually with a different teacher, too.

At our cafes in March
Maria Spetalnik from Conquer the Clutter visited all three of our cafes this month. Thank you, Maria for all your stories and great advice! In case you missed her, here are some of the things we talked about . . .

Organizing your home
–  Keep items at a height that makes it easy to access them – between your shoulders and your knees.
–  Pantry shelves that are not deep are good because it’s easier to access items. If you have deep shelves, use long, skinny trays to sort items.

What do we do with all this paper?!
–  Be selective about what you take home from health fairs, home shows, etc.
–  Purge newspapers and magazines regularly.

–  To sort your mail, have two piles – trash and keep. Get rid of junk mail before it lands on your dining table. What to do with mail that you’re not sure about? Keep legal, financial, and medical mail in a separate file so you can follow-up with the experts later.
–  To shred important documents, use a cross-cut shredder. The smaller the bits the better! Fairfax county will shred 4 boxes for free (to residents) and even take them out of your car for you. Click here for more information on the Fairfax County website.

How about medications?
–  The safest way to dispose of medications is to drop them off at your local police station. Please keep them in their original bottles.
–  You can cover up personal information on the bottle with a blackout pen. Be sure to blackout the prescription number.
–  For more information, click here to check out the Safe Disposal of Medicines page on the Fairfax County website.

–  The IRS does not call. They send letters by the U.S. Postal Service.
–  Door to door solicitation. Ask for a permit because door to door salesmen are required by law to carry one. Most don’t, especially those that say they are working on a job down the street.

Making your home safe
–  Beware of throw rugs because they can be a fall hazard. Should you trip and fall it can change your life in an instant, and not for the better. Is it really worth it?
–  Install grab bars in your bathroom. To have them installed correctly, you can contact a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), who can make additional suggestions that will help keep you safe in your home.

–  Start downsizing early. The more you can do now, the less stressful it will be for your children. It is much more difficult for other family members to sort through everything for you.
–  If your kids say they don’t want something – believe them!
–  Antique furniture, china, and silver, doesn’t have the value it used to have. You may prefer to donate these items. The only furniture that is currently selling is mid-century modern – from the 60’s and 70’s.
–  Choose the charities you want to give to that have meaning to you. We are more inclined to donate items when we feel a connection or can picture where our items are going. For example, donating old blankets to an animal shelter, or donating suits to a charity that helps people find work, so they can look and feel good when they go for an interview. A couple of charities mentioned were FACETS and Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

Maria’s contact info:
Maria is happy to answer your questions. You can reach her at or at (703) 574-113.

*New* location for our Cafe Ashburn!
Beginning April 24, we will have a new location for cafe in Ashburn. Not far from our previous location, we are now at:
Waltonwood at Ashburn
44141 Russell Branch Pkwy, Ashburn, VA 20147   map
We will still partake of a yummy lunch (with donuts!) and meet at the same time (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)

And last but not least, if you’re interested in the Parkinson’s dance class we’re organizing in Reston, please let us know! This is more like a movement to music class and Katy can adapt the program to your needs so that everyone has a wonderful time. You can click here to read more about it. If you are interested, even if you’re not sure, please contact me. We’ll contact people to work out dates and times soon.

April is . . . Parkinson’s Awareness Month!
I’ll be sending out a separate post listing what’s happening in Northern Virginia. Hope to see you Out & About in April!


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