While we endeavour to find balance amidst the chaos surrounding Covid-19 right now, we cannot lose sight of the challenges that we, or our aging loved ones, may be facing. These are challenges completely separate and apart from the virus, and still very real. We find this holds especially true now, during National Parkinson’s Disease Month.
In fact, according to the American Parkinson Disease Association, or APDA, approximately 1 million Americans are now living with the movement disorder. The organization also estimates that a new diagnosis is made every nine minutes.
One of the biggest takeaways from this information is that if someone you love may have Parkinson’s Disease, you are not alone. It also means there are plenty of resources to help you understand the implications of a potential diagnosis. Let us share a list of some of the groups and organizations that provide relevant information and services.
First, in addition to the APDA, a number of national organizations are dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s disease and their families. They generally do so by promoting awareness and education, and facilitating access to support and include:
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- The Parkinson’s Foundation
- The Family Caregiver Alliance
There are also national organizations that focus more on research and providing access to clinical trials. These include:
Most of the national groups devoted to Parkinson’s Disease awareness and education also provide links to regional, state, and local resources. For example, the ADPA connects people with Parkinson’s Disease and their families with more than 1,000 support groups throughout the country. It also has its own network of local chapters whose services may include workshops for newly diagnosed patients, access to educational material, support groups, exercise classes, and more.
The Parkinson’s Foundation also has regional and state chapters. These chapters facilitate access to resources including local support groups, exercise and wellness classes, education programs and so forth. Specifically, it provides help for newly and previously diagnosed patients, their families and friends.
As we are right here in Virginia Beach, we want to mention The Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers, or PDRECC, which are coordinated through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Accordingly, they provide help for military veterans living with the movement disorder. There are now six regional centers, which are located in Philadelphia, Richmond, Houston, West Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland/Seattle. Access to local care is coordinated through clinics called consortium centers. You can find a list of consortium centers here. You can also learn about the support and resources offered through the PDRECC here.
If your loved one receives a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, he or she may want to revisit his or her estate plan in light of this diagnosis. Specifically, he or she may want to make sure it includes the legal documents addressing healthcare concerns. If his or her estate plan already includes a healthcare power of attorney and healthcare directives, he or she may still want to review these documents to ensure his or her wishes are reflected accurately. To learn how we may be able to help in these circumstances, please call our law firm to schedule a meeting with attorney Donna Wilson today.