There is no denying that Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an awful and debilitating illness that makes life much more challenging. Sometimes, whether we like to admit it or not, we need help. A support group can be an excellent way of receiving the help that you seek.
As someone who used to shun support groups, I decided that I would develop my own style of group. I wanted a group where patients and care-partners could come and feel empowered and educated. A support group should not leave you feeling helpless, alone, or without hope. Our group shares information about new developments in the world of PD as well as what is working and what isn’t working. Often, group members suggest something to try or a tweak that maybe those seeking a suggestion hadn’t considered. In my mind, this is the model of the kind of support group that can really benefit both patient and care-partner.
Here are some suggestions to starting a support group that can empower your participants:
- Educating others and giving alternatives provides an opportunity to change one’s situation for the better.
- Maintaining a positive and hopeful spin on your meetings not only keeps the meetings upbeat but can make for a more united and cohesive group.
- Sharing doctor information can be one of the best ways to find the right doctor or neurologist for you.
- Sometimes, just going to a support group reminds you that you have more options than you thought.
- A support group is what the members make it. Like any group, the members keep the group alive and with care and gentle adjustment from group leaders to keep the meetings on track, a support group meeting can be a very healing and beneficial tool to contribute to your healing.