Parkinson’s Foundation Offers New Online Programs to Support Parkinson’s Community During COVID-19 Pandemic

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MIAMI & NEW YORK – May 7, 2020 – The Parkinson’s Foundation is offering new online events and programs to support the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The newly designed virtual programs and online content focus on priority topics like exercising at home and educational information on PD preparedness, hospitalization, nutrition, stress management, telemedicine and more. 

“The PD community relies on us for the most up-to-date information, and our new online programming provides specific tools and resources needed to live better with Parkinson’s while social distancing,” said John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer. “If you or a loved one are struggling during this time of uncertainty, you are not alone. The Parkinson’s Foundation is here to help.” 

The Parkinson’s Foundation recently launched PD Health @ Home with weekly online events designed for the Parkinson’s community. Each weekday has a specific theme aimed to ease the challenges of isolation including mindfulness techniques, Expert Briefing webinars, Facebook Live events featuring Q&A sessions with PDexperts, local chapter panels and guest lecturesconducted via Zoom, along with a PD-tailored online fitness program led by a physical therapist. 

In addition to PD Health @ Home, the Foundation’s signature fundraising walk event, Moving Day, A Walk for Parkinson’s, is now a virtual event taking place May 9 at 1 p.m. EST. Since 2011, Moving Day events have gathered more than 130,000 annual participants nationwide and raised over $27 million for cutting-edge PD research, improving care and providing resources for the nearly one million Americans living with PD. Available on Parkinson.org and the Parkinson’s Foundation Facebook page, Moving Day – A Virtual Walk aims to unite and inspire the PD community to improve quality of life through exercise. All funds raised through Moving Day help the Parkinson’s Foundation fund cutting-edge research and provide expert care for the one million Americans living with Parkinson’s. Participants can register at MovingDayWalk.org

“As someone living with Parkinson’s disease, I know the importance of communications and providing online resources while the more at-risk PD community is socially distancing at home,” said Denise Coley, a member of the Parkinson’s Foundation People with Parkinson’s Advisory Committee. “It is comforting to know that the Parkinson’s Foundation is here to answer our questions about how COVID-19 can affect people with PD. The Foundation has also been a critical source of information about exercise, medications, support groups, research and telemedicine during this pandemic.”

Additionally, the Parkinson’s Foundation is hosting its annual Care Partner Summit, or Cumbre Para Cuidadores, a free program for care partners of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), online Saturday, May 16, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. The Care Partner Summit program will include a series of panels covering key care partner topics including cognitive changes, mental health, self-care, practical planning and more. Expert panelists will also answer questions submitted by summit participants.

For more information or resources about Parkinson’s disease and the coronavirus pandemic, visit Parkinson.org/Coronavirus or call the free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About the Parkinson’s Foundation 
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease 
Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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