Having someone to lean on in life is important. And having someone to support you through a struggle, like Parkinson’s disease, is even more important.
One of the most important things I’ve seen Dad doing over the years (and what I’ve tried to do on my own) is making people know they are not alone. It’s something he says to people when he meets them. When he talks to them on a regular basis.It’s what I see people in Parkinson’s groups on Facebook remind each other often. It’s something I’ve told people I’ve never even met on Twitter when I see them struggling.
You are never alone. Especially when it comes to Parkinson’s.
It’s important to reach out for help, or a shoulder to lean on if you feel you need it. That could come in the form of someone you met online through other social media pages (Facebook or Twitter). It could be through a support group you attend on a regular basis. Or even a friend to reach out to on the phone. I’ve seen all of these things through my Dad’s work.
So you need someone to talk to and you don’t know where to start:
Think about what kind of support you’re looking for. Some people would rather meet others face to face in weekly or monthly support groups. If that’s what you’re looking for, try checking local hospital websites for information on support groups. You could ask your doctor, or any other health professionals you know. And you could always do a search online for support groups in your area or check your newspaper’s community calendar.
Would you rather talk through online forums or email? There are plenty of people you can talk to online. Dad’s part of a Facebook group for his Team Fox mentors. Now this is a private group, but there are also groups on Facebook for Young Onset, and many other Parkinson’s-related groups. Just search for them. Same with those not on Facebook.
The Michael J Fox Foundation offers a page for resources and at the bottom is a list of other organizations. Many of the national Parkinson’s organizations have support components online.
And if you think support groups are for patients only, you’re mistaken. Sure some groups cater only to patients, but they’re not the only ones needing support. Caregivers and family members do too.
Still need help finding support? Let me know, we’ll figure something out.
What tips would you give to someone looking for support? How’d you find what works best for you?