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Parkinsonís Disease Foundation Recognizes National Family Caregivers Month

This November, National Family Caregivers Month, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) invites loved ones of people with Parkinson’s to get involved with the Parkinson’s community through educational programs and support services.

There are millions of spouses, partners, family members, friends and loved ones who are part of the Parkinson’s “care partnership.”  Care partners often take on additional responsibilities such as coordinating doctor visits, managing financial matters, helping with personal needs, such as dressing, and working to make the home safe for their partners.

There are many ways for care partners to find support through PDF’s programs during November. Rhona Johnson, a member of PDF’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council, whose late husband lived with Parkinson’s, noted, “No care partner can do it all.  I urge Parkinson’s care partners to seek support and ask for the help that they need.  PDF’s programs will help you to navigate caregiving so that Parkinson’s is a part of life, but not what defines it.” 

Care partners can get involved during November by:

  • Joining PDF’s annual care partner seminar, online or by phone, on Tuesday, November 22 at 1:00 PM ET.  The seminar, “Caring for a Person with Late Stage Parkinson’s” will be led by Joan Gardner, R.N., B.S.N., and Rose Wichmann, P.T., of the Struthers Parkinson's Center in Minneapolis, MN.  Care partners who cannot attend the live seminar can view the recording on PDF’s website for up to one year.  Support groups are encouraged to watch together and can call PDF for technical assistance.  The seminar will be available at
  • Helping the community to better understand care partner needs by completing the Neurodegenerative Disease Caregiver Study developed by the Lewy Body Dementia Association.  The online survey is available at
  • Calling PDF’s National HelpLine and speaking live with an Information Specialist who can provide a sympathetic ear, answer questions about Parkinson’s, and refer you to local support groups and resources.  Callers can also request a free copy of the Parkinson’s Disease Resource List, which includes a special section for care partners.  The HelpLine is available at (800) 457-6676 from Monday to Friday, 9 AM ET – 5 PM ET.

PDF Executive Director, Robin Elliott, said, “Parkinson’s disease does not just affect the person living with it; it affects the entire family and an extended community of friends and loved ones.  During November, we recognize and honor the role of these individuals and invite them to find support through our programs.  Whether your preference is viewing the annual seminar, joining a support group or connecting with other care partners online, please contact us so we can support your journey with Parkinson’s.”

For more information on programs for care partners, contact PDF at (800) 457-6676, or

About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's.

About PDF’s Programs for Care Partners
As the population of the United States ages, the incidence of Parkinson’s is expected to increase.  This will affect the number of people needed to care for people living with Parkinson’s.  To help this growing population, PDF develops programming for care partners, including online seminars offered each November; print resources specifically for care partners, such as fact sheets and a chapter of our resource list; and annual endorsements of National Family Caregivers Month.

About the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy.  We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson’s by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson’s through educational programs and services.  Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $90 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $37 million to support national education and advocacy programs.

Source Date: Nov 01 2011