Updated: Aug 2, 2022
Care partners play a major role in the well-being of a person with Parkinson's Disease. The PAA understands the importance of supporting Parkinson's care partners, equipping you with important resources and solutions to make your journey easier as your loved one's biggest advocate and cheerleader. We have new opportunities and events for you to consider in helping to equip you with the support you need this month.
When your loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD,) you may find yourself in unusual or unexpected territory as a care partner. As care partners, we tend to take on many responsibilities, from accompanying our loved ones to doctor appointments to managing more household responsibilities. We quickly learn that we don't have a roadmap when it comes to caring for those we love, but we certainly can stay busy.
We quickly find that we need tips, training, understanding, or products and resources to help make the job easier. We can also become easily overwhelmed. That's why it is also critical for care partners to take the time to renew their energy and stay healthy. At PAA, we have two opportunities for care partners to specifically connect with others on the journey - and all for people in Alabama.
Caregiver Support Group
You may or may not attend a support group or movement class with your loved one now, but did you know it is equally important for you to have an outlet as a care partner? On the second Tuesday of every month, the PAA hosts a zoom meeting at 7 p.m. This meeting is only for care partners and allows us to have candid conversations on how we can best support each other and our loved ones with Parkinson's.
Each session will begin with a topic or resources shared from the PAA. Attendees are also encouraged to share any resources with each other. We then open the floor for conversation to throw questions out to one another and share lessons learned. From just our first session, we:
Shared tips about tough conversations when it comes to driving
Discussed partnering and managing financial planning transitions
Shared tips about movement classes
Two of our members learned they lived in the same town and decided to meet for lunch one day. Friendships will certainly grow from this special group of spouses, siblings, and adult children who are caring for their loved ones. This is a confidential, safe, and encouraging environment. We hope you will join us at our next meeting on Tuesday, August 9th at 7pm.
Getting Real Care Partner Conference
On Tuesday, August 30th, the PAA will be partnering with PMD Alliance to offer a FREE, in-person caregiver workshop called the Getting Real Care Partner Conference. Join us from 2:30 pm - 6pm at the Levite Jewish Community Center (3960 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213) as we have the opportunity to learn and ask our most pressing questions from one of the leading experts in the movement disorders community, Dr. Amy Amara, M.D., PhD.
Dr. Amara is a physician scientist at the University of Alabama Birmingham, Department of Neurology. Dr. Amara has fellowship training in both Movement Disorders and Sleep Medicine, with a particular interest in sleep dysfunction and other non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's.
If you're tending to a loved one with Parkinson's, we see your commitment, your love, and the challenges you face every day. What you do day in and day out is not easy. At PMD Alliance and the PAA, we don't shy away from the hard conversations: we lean in because you deserve honest talk and space to share.
This workshop is designed just for you. It's your chance to learn from and ask questions of leading experts in the movement disorder world because information is power. As an adult child or care partner of someone with PD, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain of how to plan for what's ahead. We've got practical advice and resources to best support you in your unique needs and concerns. To create a safe space for you to ask the questions you need, and share experience with others who understand what it's like to walk in your shoes, this event is exclusively for care partners.
Being a care partner can sometimes be challenging but having a care partner is essential to the well-being of every person with Parkinson's. The PAA is investing in the build out of a very robust online resource center that we hope to launch in early 2023. Stay tuned!