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This November, Find Tips for Improving Communication in the PD Partnership

This November, during National Family Caregivers Month, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) remembers and supports the millions of spouses, family members, friends and other loved ones, who are deeply affected by Parkinson’s disease (PD).

More than half of care partners to people with Parkinson’s report that – in part because of dissatisfying communication with their loved one with Parkinson’s (PDF, 2006) – they are at times operating in a fairly high stress to very high stress environment.  In fact, because of certain symptoms of the disease, such as decreased facial movements or speech problems, people with Parkinson’s may have difficulty communicating and showing emotions and their partners may have trouble interpreting them.

So during this special month, partner with PDF to raise awareness of the needs of care partners, to support a loved one or to strengthen your PD partnership.  Here are a few strategies:

Spread the Word


Find Resources 

  • Watch the upcoming “What's Missing? Communication and the PD Partnership” online seminar on Tuesday, November 30 at 1:00 PM ET, led by Teresa Deshefy-Longhi, DN.Sc., R.N., of Fairfield University School of Nursing.  She will provide advice on how to tackle communication issues that may arise between you and your loved one in your PD partnership.  You can join this event by watching online or by calling a toll-free number to listen in. Look for registration next week!
  • View last year’s online seminar, “How to Take Care of the Care Partner,” for information on how a care partner can find time for him or herself, benefiting both individuals. 
  • Read a personal story about the PD partnership written by Rhona Johnson, member of PDF’s People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council (PPAC).  Download The PD Partnership. 
  • Browse PDF’s online resource list, which includes organizations and publications from around the country designed specifically for care partners and family members. Order a print guide by calling (800) 457-6676. 
  • Find a support group – that welcomes both people with PD and care partners or focuses specifically on care partner needs – by calling PDF’s National HelpLine at (800) 457-6676 or emailing us at 
  • Order educational materials to learn more about Parkinson’s disease so you and your partner are up-to-date about symptoms, medications and clinical trials.  Contact us to order in bulk for your support group.


Support the Cure: 

More questions about the role of care partners? Call PDF's National HelpLine at (800) 457-6676.  Our staff can answer any question you may have, or refer you to someone who can.


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 PD 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 PD and the needs of both individuals in what PDF calls the “Parkinson’s Partnership.”

To address the needs of this growing population, PDF develops programming for care partners and partnerships, including online seminars offered each November; print resources specifically for care partners, such as a chapter of our resource list and fact sheets; and annual endorsements of National Family Caregivers Month. 

PDF first launched its care partner initiative in 2006, with a community survey, to better understand and address the needs of this growing population. The study’s results (which can be found here) suggest the need for a more comprehensive approach to programs designed to support and sustain care partners of people with Parkinson's.  

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 disease (PD) by funding promising scientific research to find the causes of and a cure for Parkinson's while supporting people with Parkinson’s, their families and caregivers through educational programs and support services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has funded over $85 million worth of scientific research in Parkinson’s disease, supporting the work of leading scientists throughout the world and has dedicated over $34 million to support people with Parkinson’s and their families and caregivers through our educational and advocacy programs.

Source Date: Nov 03 2010