Everyone reacts differently to being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Some people will feel anxiety, anger or fear, others may deny the diagnosis and for some it can even feel like a relief. Having a range of emotions and reactions is normal.
If you have just been diagnosed, or you are caring or supporting someone who has, we have information and support for you. There are treatments to help manage the symptoms and support services available to help get the most out of life, maintain independence and to continue to enjoy all that life has to offer.
SUPPORT FOR YOU
Knowing where to find answers to your questions can make a real difference and is the first step of taking charge of your life with Parkinson's and is only a phone call away.
Contact our Info Line 1800 644 189 and you will be directed to the Parkinson’s organisation in the state or territory that you live in for all the information and support you need. The Info Line is free and confidential, and available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm (except public holidays). You can also contact your State Parkinson's organisation here
FREE INFO LINE: 1800 644 189
STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH A DIAGNOSIS
Disclosing the diagnosis
The timing of disclosing the diagnosis is a personal choice. However, attempting to hide the symptoms and the diagnosis can be stressful which in turn may result in increased symptoms such as tremor. Honesty and disclosure often brings relief as others may have suspected that something was amiss and may have made a wrong assumption.
Maintain or start an exercise program
Research suggests that exercise plays an important part in slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s symptoms. It is vital that exercise is commenced or continued. Any form of exercise is recommended, including yoga, boxing, walking and Tai Chi. Talk to your healthcare team about your exercise program
Adjusting to the changes
It will eventally become necessary to allow more time for routine activities can be frustrating. Having a realistic self-expectations helps with the adjustments that may need to be made.
Try to avoid defining yourself by Parkinson’s. It is important not to lose focus of yourself and your life roles rather than allow Parkinson’s to dominate. You may develop or find long lost skills as you go through your journey.
The support of family and friends is invaluable and professional support may also be required. Many people will seek the help of a counsellor to help to talk through options and changes. Just as the symptoms of Parkinson's vary from person to person, each person will reach the point of seeking assistance at a different stage.