Parkinson Social Network

Focus on the Donut Instead of the Hole

Donut worry, be happy!

Here we are at the beginning of the Holiday Season already. 2018 has just flown by! As has this last week. We had fun at two cafes and now this weekend family and friends are coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Cafe Alexandria
It was almost standing room only at our cafe at Brandywine Living in Alexandria! Our friends from the Springfield support group, led by Ed and Lilian, joined us. Most of the group already knew each other, but they were also very welcoming of first time visitors. To get the conversation started, we shared what we were thankful for. It was lovely to hear how so many people were thankful for everything that Ed does for his group.

I learned a new saying, too – Focus on the donut, instead of the hole. Needless to say, with donuts being a feature of our cafes, this definitely caught my attention! But there’s another reason. Parkinson’s takes so much from people and it’s too easy to focus on the loss. Inspired by the upbeat attitude of many of our Parkinson friends, we hope we are showing people how much they can still do, enjoy, and contribute. Focusing on the goodness of the donut.

Cafe Fairfax
We were a smaller group on Wednesday with many of our friends traveling or preparing for the holiday weekend. When we asked, “What was the worst thing your mother ever made you eat?” we learned that most people are not fond of organ meats. It seemed to be a good idea to change the topic to more yummy food, and we learned about a place in Williamsburg called A Chef’s Kitchen. You can watch the multiple-course meals being prepared and then you can enjoy them! Click here to read more. We also talked about the German Christkindl Market in Reston. The best information I was able to find about it is that it is at:
German Armed Forces Command
11150 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston.
Usually the first Thursday in December from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, so this year that would be December 6.
Contact phone number is 703-390-3175 to confirm date and time.

Hoping to see you out and about soon! Cafe Ashburn is next week!


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Donate to Parkinson Social Network

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More Events for Family Caregivers

Caring for our Caregivers luncheon

I’m writing this on Thursday morning, looking out at snow! In mid-November? Our aquatic class is canceled today because Fairfax County schools are closed, so I’m taking this opportunity to try to remember everything I wanted to share with you about what’s been happening this week.

Caring for our Caregivers luncheon 2018Caring for our Caregivers
PSN’s first caregiver appreciation luncheon was special to both the caregivers as well as family members who visited in the room next door to the luncheon. The set up was perfect! Caregivers were able to relax knowing that their loved ones were nearby and being cared for.

I learned from Angela about how much effort and time goes into organizing a panel discussion to make it professional and memorable, not just for the audience but for the panel members as well. The topic, Self-care Means giving Yourself Permission to Pause, is something that is often written and talked about but this time it was more meaningful, because of how the panel shared their personal stories and feelings. Thank you all! Angela (Moderator), Arlene, Carol and Karen.

Meanwhile, next door, Karl led a discussion where fellow Parkies learned new and interesting things about each other. The group listened to music during lunch, and afterwards they explored their creativity with a project guided by Sue Ann Hastings, an art therapist who donated her time and art materials. Sue Ann chose an activity that she hoped would be relaxing for the participants – just another example of the care that went into planning this event. Thank you to Karl and Sue Ann, for all the smiles I saw on people’s faces, and making this event special for our friends with Parkinson’s as well.

My sincere gratitude to the volunteers and PSN board members who all worked together to make this event so special. This event was organized by caregivers, for caregivers, and the love and care that went into it was noticeable and appreciated by all who attended.
Amy Coppa
A BIG thank you to Amy Coppa from 5 Star Home Health Care for her HUGE help in getting this event off the ground, providing ALL the refreshments (including donuts!), goodie bags, door prizes and more. Amy’s daughter, Anna, who is a professional caregiver with 5 Star, also helped our friends with Parkinson’s who appreciated her kindness.

More special thank yous to Christi Clark and Lindsey Vajpeyi for hosting us at Insight Memory Care Center and giving up their Saturday to be there for us. We are very grateful for their constant encouragement and support. Look for a comment by Lindsey in the November 2018 issue of the AARP Bulletin, in the section on page 44, Celebrations of Caregiving. Click here to check out Insight’s events calendar for details about their classes, workshops, support groups, and social events.

Caregiver luncheon door prizesWe finished the luncheon by giving out door prizes with people swapping prizes so that everyone went home happy. Thank you to everyone who contributed door prizes! There was lots of wine, and several certificates for being pampered. More wine, books by the Robbs, gift cards, and coffee & tea with accoutrements. Everyone also received a Parkinson’s Awareness Resource Kit (PARKit) with information about living well with Parkinson’s as well as local resources.

Northern Virginia Dementia Care Conference
We saw quite a few of our Parkinson Social Network friends at this conference on Monday. Kim Campbell, wife of Glen Campbell, was the keynote speaker and she’s a wonderful story teller. Kim has a website,, where you can read her blog, and learn more about “I’ll Be Me”, a movie they made of their final tour after Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I saw it a few years ago and it’s a beautiful movie. The family come together to “navigate the wildly unpredictable nature of Glen’s progressing disease using love, laughter and music as their medicine of choice.” Many of you may relate because I often hear people say how helpful it is to have a sense of humor when you’re living with Parkinson’s.

Parkinson Social Network was an exhibitor at this conference as we have been two previous years, sharing information about PSN, as well as Parkinson’s and caregiving. We were able to answer a variety of questions and refer people to other local resources who were represented at the conference. I’m following up on a couple of others as well.

Just for fun, and kind of on the spur of the moment, we went bowling on Wednesday afternoon. We had a good time and even had our own cheer team! No pompoms this time, but we can work on that. We learned a couple of things:
* that it’s important to take your meds on time because it can affect your game if you’re having so much fun that you forget to take them until afterwards, and
* sometimes you can bowl a better game if you change your name by bowling for someone else.
We also had fun helping one of our friends to celebrate his birthday. He was bowling with his grandfather’s bowling ball – a special way to honor him.

I want to send a special shout out and thank you to the kind folk at Bowl America Burke for all their help so that we could have such an enjoyable time.

2018 Parkinson’s Foundation Caregiver Summit | Cumbre Para Cuidadores
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Caregiver Summit Program: click HERE | Presenters List: click HERE
Who Should Attend Anyone caring for someone living with PD, such as a spouse, partner, child or friend.
How to participate from personal computer, tablet, or smart phone
Register Now: in English or Spanish
More information
** Parkinson’s Foundation is one of the national organizations. We share details about their Aware in Care hospital kit, and other printed information at our events and on our website.

Blue Christmas Service
Sunday, December 9, 3:00 pm
At: Katie’s Coffee House Village Center
260 Walker Road, Great Falls
A non-traditional service of remembrance and hope for those who are stressed, lonely, or grieving.
All are welcome. Dress is casual.
For more information contact: Rev. Tracey Kelly –

This service can provide comfort and solace for people who might find the holidays a difficult time. In previous years, people who attended could light candles in memory of loved ones, and the service included periods of silence to allow for peaceful reflection.

With your support we can do more!
We are excited that we can offer social events like our cafes, caregiver appreciation luncheon, and bowling. Your smiles are so encouraging! With your help we can continue to grow, and develop more programs for you, your family, and friends. There is so much that we can learn from each other about making the most of life with Parkinson’s. Thank you for your support!
Donate to Parkinson Social Network

Hoping to see you out and about soon! We’ll be at Cafe Alexandria on Monday and Cafe Fairfax on Wednesday!


Bowling Anyone?

we're going bowling!

This week we’ve been busy organizing our caregiver appreciation lunch. That’s tomorrow! On Monday, Parkinson Social Network will be at the Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium in Alexandria. I hope to see some of our friends from our Parkinson community there, too. On Wednesday afternoon, we’ll be throwing heavy round objects at defenseless wooden pins. Repeatedly. A.K.A. bowling!

Ashburn cafe
On Tuesday, I visited the Ashburn support group at Ashby Ponds. The speaker was a resident who spoke about Advance Directives and the forms she had completed – Virginia Medical Advance Directive form, and the 5 Wishes as a supplement because she could go into more detail. I felt how she would like to be remembered in her obituary was especially touching. It was “She tried to become the person she wanted to be.”

Alan Alda and Michael J. Fox Swap Stories about Living with Parkinson’s
Alan Alda's Clear & Vivid podcastTuesday, November 13
Award-winning actor Alan Alda — who recently disclosed he has been living with Parkinson’s for several years — sat down and chatted with Michael J. Fox for the Season Two premiere of Alda’s “Clear + Vivid” podcast, available to download on November 13.

In this casual conversation about their individual experiences with Parkinson’s, Michael and Alan swap stories about the similarities and differences in their shared disease, their tactics for managing symptoms, their experiences sharing a diagnosis with family and friends, and ways for anyone to get involved in research. Click here on November 13th to listen in!

POE Women for PD
Poe Wellness Solutions is excited to offer POE Women for PD (Partnering Optimizing and Empowering Women for PD) supported by a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. Through funds raised by Moving Day® North Carolina, a walk for Parkinson’s, Integrative Health & Wellness Coaching is offered at no charge to women living with PD. Participants are referred to the program through The Movement Disorders Center at The University of North Carolina Hospitals and the Division of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at Duke University Health System. Both programs are Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence. For more information, visit or contact Meg Poe at or 919-998-8538.
Thank you, Angela for sharing information about this program! Angela also mentioned, “The program is over the phone and does not say you have to be in NC or SC to participate!” Click here for the direct link to the website.

Alzheimer’s Authors
Thank you, Angela (again!) for sharing this website. It’s In a recent post they wrote, “AlzAuthors is built by caregivers for caregivers, with a mission to provide carefully vetted books and blogs to help you find the answers and guidance you need. The majority of our authors have “walked the walk” with a parent, spouse, or other loved one,” Click here to check out their blog post National Caregiver Appreciation Month Book Sale & Giveaway.

Hoping to see you out and about soon! How about a fun afternoon of bowling next Wednesday, November 14? Click here to register – it will help us with planning.


It’s Family Caregiver Month!

Family Caregiver Month

Tune in to Hear Parkinson Social Network / Fairfax 50+ podcast!
Carol Barrett and I discuss what caregivers need to know about the disease, including how to find services. We also discuss the unique role the Parkinson Social Network plays in helping people with the diagnosis, and caregivers cope and support each other. Our thanks to Grace Lynch, Manager, Communications and Community Outreach, Division of Adult and Aging Services for arranging this podcast for us!
Tune in at Fairfax 50+ Podcast. Find more Fairfax 50+ Podcasts.
** If you’d like to access the various podcasts and webinars I write about in these newsletters and you’re not sure how, we have help on the way! Grace will be visiting Cafe Fairfax on February 20 to give us a tutorial on how to access podcasts and webinars.Caring for our CaregiversCaregiver Appreciation Luncheon – last call!
We still have a few seats left for our Caring for our Caregivers luncheon next Saturday, November 10, from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm. Don’t miss out! Click here to register and click here for more details.

Did you know you can support PSN when you shop on Amazon?
Are you an Amazon customer? Parkinson Social Network is registered with AmazonSmile. When you shop on AmazonSmile, 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases will be donated to PSN. Click here to connect with AmazonSmile and designate Parkinson Social Network as your favorite charity. Through to 11:59 pm tonight, AAmazonSmilemazon will donate 5% – 10 times their usual rate! Thank you for your support!

Staying Positive When You Have Parkinson’s
Thank you, Karen, for sharing this inspiring article with us. Click here to read it on the website. Two of our local authors, Karl and Angela Robb, are also regular contributors.

Exciting News from Rock Steady Boxing Nova – now in Sterling!
And now a message from Alec . . .
We have a location! We will be at:
Disciple MMA Academy
21620 Ridgetop Circle Unit 100A, Sterling, VA 20164
It is a great gym with lots of space, lots of parking, heavy bags, big locker rooms, a ring, aka it is perfect! I am very excited for you all so lets get this thing started.
– I’ll be able to use the Loudoun gym starting next week and will start doing assessments immediately. Here is the link to schedule an assessment for next week (Nov 5th) at the Loudoun location.
– I want to get all the assessments done so we can start class on Monday November 12th!
Thank you all for your patience and I hope to see you soon!Rock Steady Boxing NoVa
Alec Langstein, Owner/Coach
Rock Steady Boxing NOVA
571.730.8553   |   |

Parkinson’s Cycle Class at Cycle Chistarting next week!
When:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Where:  Cycle Chi, 211 Mill Street, NE, Vienna, VA 22180 (located next to Pennywise Thriftshop).
Requirements:  A pre-class assessment is required to take the class to ensure safety. Cost is only $10 (first class fee). Participant must be able to get on and off bike with minimal assistance and be able to pedal safely. Assessments may be scheduled via email to or by calling Krista at 703-303-0600 and will take 10-20 minutes.Cycle Chi
Scheduling:  Classes are drop in, but it is highly recommended that you reserve your bike in advance to ensure you have a spot in the class. Space is limited to 20 bikes and without a reservation you are not guaranteed a spot. Reservations can be made online at or by calling Krista 703-303-0600 (please call more than 1 hour prior to class starting).
Cost: Cost will be the same as other cycle class passes which can be purchased online or in the studio. Class packs do not expire and can be used at any time.
$21 – Single Class Pass
$100 – 5 Class Pack ($20 per class)
$190 – 10 Class Pack ($19 per class)
$360 – 20 Class Pack ($18 per class)
For more information or questions please contact Krista via email or phone 703-303-0600.  Hope to see you there for a fun workout!

Dance for PD®
*Update 11.1.18* Dance for PD® has released it’s latest streamed class – a June 2018 class taught by Mark Morris Dance Group company member Pamela Quinn. Click here to view and move to the music. There’s a new class available every month, usually with a different teacher, too. To check out their archive and keep on movin’ to the music click here.

Financial Preparedness: Be Sure to Save for an Emergency
Thank you, Arlene, for reminding me about Fairfax County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Emergency Preparedness Newsletter. One particular article worth reading is Financial Preparedness: Be Sure to Save for an Emergency. Here’s one of the suggestions:
“It is important to have small bills on hand because ATM’s and credit cards may not work during a disaster when you need to purchase necessary supplies, fuel or food.” Click here to read this article in a blog post.
** In December we’ll be visited by Courtney from the OEM at Cafe Fairfax.

Hoping to see you out and about soon!


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