April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and today, Monday April 11, is World Parkinson’s Day. We want to take a stand this month, with the 100,000 Australians who are living with this debilitating, progressive neurological condition, and contribute to finding better solutions for the 37 people per day in Australia who will receive the same, distressing diagnosis.
It’s not yet known what exactly causes Parkinson’s disease but it’s thought that multiple factors may be responsible. Lives are impacted by a wide range of symptoms, which start to appear when the brain is unable to make enough dopamine to control movement properly. While the average age of diagnosis is 65, around 20% of Australians living with the disease are of working age and have been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s affects a person’s impulse control, commonly leading to tremors, slowness of movement and rigidity. In addition to fatigue, physical pain, gastrointestinal issues, memory and sleep difficulties, a person may also experience mental health issues including depression, hallucinations, paranoia and delusions. Medications used to treat Parkinson’s Disease can also contribute to mental health issues and antipsychotic medications can contribute to worsening the condition.
Parkinson’s Australia represents a federation of member states as the peak charity advocating for people in our country with Parkinson’s disease, and working to reduce its impact by promoting best practice care so that they are supported to live well and maintain their independence. The organisation invites us to show our support for the Parkinson’s community by taking to social media with a short video or message, a song or poem you love or have written, an artwork, a pic of your pet or garden, or even your favourite slippers, using the hashtag #inthistogether and the tag @ParkinsonsNSW
You can visit www.parkinsons.org.au for further information about Parkinsons and World Parkinson’s Day activities.
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