Relationships, Community, and Parkinson’s

Positive relationships and supportive environments can play a significant role when you’re facing adversity. The better our relationships, the better our health, outlook on life, and belief in our own self-efficacy and resilience. When we have solid relationships, we feel less stress and are more capable of overcoming challenges. This doesn’t change with a Parkinson’s diagnosis.  

In this collection of resources, we share information about how your relationships might change after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, offer advice for navigating relationship highs and lows, and take a close look at why staying connected to your friends, family, and community is as valuable as medicine when you’re living with Parkinson’s.

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Living Well with Parkinson’s by Connecting the Community  

Tim Hague talks about his diagnosis at a young age; his quest to win the Amazing Race Canada (and win he did); and how winning inspired him to create, lead, and champion a healthy Parkinson’s community in Winnipeg. He’s a shining example of how connecting with your community and giving back can help you live well with Parkinson’s. 

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Help Others, Help Yourself: The Importance of Getting Involved in your Community 

Karen Jaffe, MD, shares her story of moving from the “keeping Parkinson’s a secret” phase to disclosing her diagnosis to friends, family, and her community, and how it led to the creation of a Parkinson’s wellness center she had never dreamed about founding. “We sweat, we sing, we laugh, and occasionally, we even have to help each other up off the floor. What makes this group so special is that we know that it is working. The impact is evident in our improved outlooks, better health, and more knowledgeable and invigorated Parkinson’s community.”  

Social Connections and Parkinson’s

Social isolation is a rising concern in the general population, but it is even more common for those who also live with chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s. The psychological and physical effects of social isolation can be severe. It can exacerbate your motor and non-motor symptoms, put you at risk for developing other health problems, increase your chances of experiencing depression and anxiety, accelerate cognitive decline, and decrease your quality of life. In this webinar, Dr. Al Condeluci discusses the key concepts and importance of social capital, the difference between social isolation and loneliness, the biology of social isolation, and more. 

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