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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Honors Care Partners Making a Difference During National Family Caregivers Month

Offers Free Online Seminar for Care Partners to People with Parkinson's on Tuesday, November 20

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) honors and offers support to the care partners who are making a difference in the lives of people with Parkinson's disease during November, National Family Caregivers Month, at www.pdf.org/caregivers_month.

While PDF estimates that there are nearly one million Americans living with Parkinson's disease, "the truth is that there are millions more because the whole family also lives with the disease," said PDF Research Advocate Beth Ann Chard, whose husband and fellow advocate Gary was diagnosed four years ago.

Care partners and family members of people with Parkinson's disease often take on tasks 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.  Many care partners and families also get involved in the fight against the disease. In fact, more than 50 care partners and loved ones currently work with PDF – advising its work through the People with Parkinson's Advisory Council, speeding new treatments through the Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) program, or fundraising for research through the PDF Champions program.

According to Julie H. Carter, R.N., M.S., A.N.P., of Oregon Health & Science University, "I encourage the involvement of the entire family, not only because it can advance the cause, but also because when one person has Parkinson's disease, the whole family is affected by Parkinson's disease."

She added, "Caregiving may have rewards, but it can also take a toll on every member of the family."  With this in mind, PDF and Ms. Carter are partnering on the organization's annual free online seminar for care partners on Tuesday, November 20, focusing on ways care partners can recognize and reduce stress.  Here's how to take advantage of this seminar, and make a difference in your own life or that of a care partner:

  • Join the annual online/telephone seminar in recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, on Tuesday, November 20 at 1:00 PM ET by visiting www.pdf.org/parkinson_briefing_caregiver12.  The seminar, "Caregiving and Parkinson's," led by Ms. Carter, will be available live and as a recording on PDF's website.  Support groups are encouraged to watch together and can contact PDF for technical assistance.  Free CEUs are available for some health care professionals via PDF's sponsorship of the American Society on Aging. Additional promotion is provided through PDF's media partner, National Family Caregivers Association.
  • Call PDF's National HelpLine to speak live with an Information Specialist who can provide a sympathetic ear, answer questions about Parkinson's, and refer you to local Parkinson's specialists, 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, 9:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET or via email at info@pdf.org.
  • Get your family involved with the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Whether you are looking to raise awareness, raise funds or speed treatments, PDF will provide the tools to help you make a difference. For example, to get involved in the PAIR program with Mr. and Mrs. Chard, simply visit www.pdf.org/pair to take our free online course any time of day that is convenient for you.
  • Pay tribute to a care partner in your life by sending a free inspirational eCard designed by a member of PDF's Creativity and Parkinson's Project.

"Care partners of people with Parkinson's work hard each and every day to make a difference in the lives of their loved ones and the Parkinson's cause," said PDF Executive Director Robin Elliott. "At PDF, we believe it is our responsibility to make a difference in theirs."

For more information on National Family Caregivers Month and other programs for care partners of people living with Parkinson's disease, contact PDF at (800) 457-6676, info@pdf.org or www.pdf.org/caregivers_month.  

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.  This year's special PD ExpertBriefing has been made possible by educational grants from Abbott Laboratories and Teva Neuroscience.  

About 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 $96 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $40 million to support national education and advocacy initiatives.

Source Date: Nov 01 2012