PDF's Research Advocates often take the lead in educating their communities about Parkinson’s. In 2011, PDF Research Advocate Carolyn Weaver of Freeland, MI, brought posters and Parkinson’s disease informational materials to 13 different locations in her state.
5 Easy Ways to Educate Yourself and Others
- Offer to speak to local college or medical students about your life with Parkinson’s disease.
- Provide your library with a copy of the Parkinson’s Disease Resource List, Second Edition, for their collection.
- Watch one of PDF’s PD ExpertBriefings with your support group.
- Display PDF’s annual Creativity and Parkinson’s wall calendar.
- Tell a nurse or physical therapist about PDF’s online courses for health care professionals.
Educate Yourself and Others
Ensure that all people with Parkinson's have access to the latest information.
Here are a few ways to do it:
- Partner with Your Local Library
- Host an Educational and Awareness-Raising Event
- Partner with PDF Research Advocates
- Display Educational Materials
- Help Ensure the Best Care for People with Parkinson's
- Share Your Creativity
Libraries all over the US have participated in Parkinson’s Awareness Month and might be willing to help you educate others throughout the year. Are you connected to your local library? Run these ideas past your local library, and contact us for support.
Who Should You Talk To?
Your contact will vary, depending on how your library works. Some libraries utilize their volunteer committees to handle new events. Others will point you towards a specific staff person or the library director.
Types of Events
- Create a Parkinson’s display in the library. Many libraries have an area they use for these sorts of activities. Offer PDF or other educational materials so that those visiting the library can learn more about Parkinson’s.
- Use the display to advertise any other fundraising or awareness-raising events in your neighborhood.
- Partner with other groups already active with the library to host an educational event (see below) or build Parkinson’s into one of their events. For instance, many libraries have health-related groups that put on educational events each month. They may be open to focusing their April event on Parkinson’s!
- Publicize your event in library newsletters, flyers, websites and bulletin boards.
- Plan a book fair with a health theme. Invite local expert speakers to provide “mini-seminars” on Parkinson’s and related topics at the library throughout the day.
Help increase knowledge within the Parkinson’s community about the latest disease management tips, research news and coping strategies.
Partner up with your support group and/or in a hospital or clinic to have a greater impact.
Here are some ideas:
- Offer educational materials and link people with Parkinson’s and their families to local resources, such as your local Area Agency on Aging.
- Provide guest speakers — such as Parkinson’s doctors, people with Parkinson’s and nurses — to describe life with Parkinson’s. Try contacting your doctor, local university or a movement disorder center with PD specialists to find a speaker.
- Ask your entire group to gather together for PDF’s annual April online seminar, “What’s in the Parkinson’s Pipeline?” Plan a discussion of the topic after the event for your members (see www.pdf.org/en/parkinsononline for dates).
- Ask to include a Parkinson’s booth at a local health fair.
- Issue press releases and publicize your event in local papers, newsletters, on websites and through local media or schedule a press conference (see here).
- Add a creative element to your event! Display the Parkinson’s Quilt and distribute the Creativity and Parkinson’s calendar, which features the inspiring works of 13 people with PD who find artwork therapeutic for their PD symptoms (see www.pdf.org/quilt and www.pdf.org/en/creativity).
Do you want to team up to educate your community about Parkinson’s research? Pair up with one of PDF’s Research Advocates. PDF Research Advocates are people with Parkinson’s and care partners who are working
to speed new treatments for Parkinson's. They are:
- Knowledgeable in the science of Parkinson’s
- Familiar with the process that brings new medications to market
- Aware of clinical trials in your community
- Able to provide PDF materials and resources and serve as guest speakers
If you would like to partner on an event with a PDF Research Advocate, contact PDF to find one in your area, where available.
PDF Research Advocates are also organizing 25 nationwide "PAIR Up for Parkinson's" educational forums, which will provide information on local research studies and thank clinical research participants for their contributions. Check PDF's calendar to see if there is one coming to your community.
Hang up posters to promote your efforts and distribute educational materials to your library visitors. PDF offers free educational materials as well as posters and “Join the Parkinson’s Fight” stickers (some materials are available in both English and Spanish).
See our publication catalogue and contact us to place your order.
Help improve Parkinson’s care by spreading the word to health professionals you know about these online courses, which provide the latest information about Parkinson’s comprehensive care for free!
- Parkinson’s Disease Across the Lifespan: A Roadmap for Nurses: is a six-hour online course designed by Parkinson’s nurse specialists. More than 9,000 nurses — from all 50 US states and 34 countries worldwide — have viewed the course and taken the exams required to complete it. It is available online for free at http://support.pdf.org/nursing.
- Parkinson’s Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation and Treatment for the Physical Therapist: is an online course designed by expert physical therapists in the field of Parkinson’s to help other physical therapists better understand how to evaluate, treat, and deliver comprehensive care to people living with Parkinson’s. It is available online at http://support.pdf.org/ptherapy for free. 0.8 CEUs are available.
- PD ExpertBriefings: are one-hour long online courses led by experts in Parkinson's research and care. PDF offers six courses per year for an audience that includes people living with Parkinson's and health care professionals, on a variety of practical topics, including nutrition, medications and more. Information on upcoming PD ExpertBriefings is available at www.pdf.org/parkinsononline.
If you are a:
- Person living with or touched by Parkinson’s: Bring this article to your nurse, your doctor’s office, your physical therapist or local hospital and ask them to participate.
- Nurse: View the free online course, Parkinson’s Disease Across the Lifespan: A Roadmap for Nurses.
- Physical therapist: View the free online course, Parkinson’s Disease: A Practical Approach to Evaluation and Treatment for the Physical Therapist, and earn continuing education credits.
- Educator for Nurses or PTs: Show the online course to your students and ask them to complete the online tests at home.
Do you want to share your Parkinson’s experience with the Parkinson’s community?
PDF’s Creativity and Parkinson’s Project encourages those living with Parkinson’s to explore their creativity and its potentially beneficial effects.
Display your creativity on our online gallery or browse works submitted by more than 300 others. Be considered for the annual wall calendar, which each year features 13 of these artists and for our eCards, which allow members of the community to honor each other on holidays.
In 2011, PDF Research Advocate Gordie Guist, of Camden, ME, set up a display of educational materials and books about Parkinson’s in his local library.
In April 2011, John Baumann of, Louisville, KY, and Linda Hinkle and Mary Yeaman of Indianapolis, IN, partnered with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers to hold an awareness event. Centered around a game, it included educational handouts and a reading of a proclamation at half time.
The same team of PDF Research Advocates: — John Baumann, Mary Yeaman and Linda Hinkle (see page 18) — staffed a PDF informational table the Sixth Annual Frances E. Lang Living Well Symposium in Louisville, KY, held by the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana.
In 2012, PDF Creativity Artist John Fasulo of Beacon, NY, combined awareness, fundraising and creativity. His nearby library, Butterfield Memorial Library, held an exhibit of his works, “Railroad and Other Images.” Ten percent of all sales of his prints supported PDF’s programs!