We need some assistance in reaching individuals on the lower shore in the 20 to 50 year old age range who may have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. PD affects over a million people in the USA, more than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined; and is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease behind Alzheimer’s. It is a chronic and progressive condition for which there is no cure.
The average age of the onset of symptoms is about age 60, and the typical support group will probably have an assortment of members from age 50/55 to 90; usually mostly seniors not working full time or raising children. However, about 15% of individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are considered to be “Young-onset” or “Early-onset” cases because their diagnosis was determined prior to age 50, and in many cases prior to one’s 40’s or even 30’s. The conversations, programs, activities as well as certain symptoms and treatments are different for the two age groups, such that the older group’s meetings may not be particularly meaningful or helpful to the younger participants who typically have jobs and an active family life to juggle.
The Lower Shore Parkinson’s Support Group, Inc. in Salisbury and the Worcester County Parkinson’s Support Group in Ocean Pines/Berlin/O.City are jointly trying to establish a new support group just for those diagnosed as young or early onset Parkinson’s cases. That effort will kick off on Tuesday, June 14th with a formative meeting to assess the level of need and interest in the lower shore area. The meeting will be held at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore beginning at 6 p.m. There will be a very educational presentation providing an overview of PD by Becky Dunlop RN, MS, Instructor of Neurology and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, followed by a Q & A session.
See link below for more information. We would be most appreciative of any assistance you might provide in getting this information out to your members, and to any other organization or individuals who might have an interest in attending. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you for any help you may provide.
Art Cooley, Group Leader
Lower Shore Parkinson’s Support Group
H: 410.749.8511 C: 410-430-0812