People With Parkinson’s Share Their COVID-19 #KeyToPD

The Parkinson’s Foundation is dedicated to helping keep our Parkinson’s disease (PD) community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted so many of our daily routines. Access to gyms and exercise classes have been limited or entirely inaccessible. In-person gatherings are no longer encouraged. Even certain nutritious food items have been harder to find.

With all this in mind, we found it essential to expand our virtual programs. Through PD Health @ Home, we now offer more online health and wellness classes than ever before to ensure you have the resources you need to stay social and active through the foreseeable future.

We asked a few of our friends to share their top tips for managing PD during the pandemic. Here’s what they had to say:

Heather Wolynic

“Art is my passion and during the pandemic I’ve had more time to paint. I would highly recommend any form of art to help you relax and boost your mood while physically distancing.”

Art therapy can improve physical, psychological and social functioning. The opportunity to express thoughts and emotions creatively can be a calming release, and there are many forms of art to try. Painting works for Heather and Frederick Coxen, but maybe ceramics, photography or just doodling are more your style.

Read how our Center of Excellence network and our community grant recipient promote healthy practices through art therapy.

Sharon Krischer

“Find a webinar and participate. There are so many out there.

Our Expert Briefing webinar series covers a wide variety of topics to help people with Parkinson’s along in their journey. You can register for our upcoming season highlighting Young Onset PD themes or view recorded sessions presentations on our website.

Additionally, our PD Health @ Home series has brought in experts to address topics related to COVID-19. We have archived them on our website for you to view at your convenience.

 

Bruce Ballard

“With the money I’m not putting into my gym membership, I bought a spin bike. I use it three to four times a week, usually for an hour and pedaling at a cadence of over 100 rpm [rotation per minute]. Last week I pushed myself hard and at one point was pedaling at 140 rpm! I feel especially upbeat after a session like that.”

The Parkinson’s Outcomes Project shows that people who exercise a minimum of 2.5 hours a week experience a slowed decline in quality of life. Many attribute feeling their best to staying physically active.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a spin bike at home like Bruce ― check out our Fitness Friday videos, with workouts designed to keep you moving!

Nikki Louiselle

“Chronically ill patients do have to be extra attentive when navigating a new kind of normal during a pandemic. The best advice I can give for people like myself living with Parkinson’s during a pandemic is to do your due diligence and be proactive. Knowledge is empowering and I felt that the more I researched and learned about the virus, the better prepared I could be if COVID-19 did infect our home and family."

Those diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) face an additional set of challenges when it comes to COVID-19. Often times, a person with YOPD may still have children or teenagers in the household, which can increase the chance of exposure as children can come in contact with a person with the virus. Nikki says being prepared has helped her immensely and she feels comforted knowing what to do if her home was exposed. For our latest information on COVID-19 and Parkinson’s visit Parkinson.org/COVID19.

 

If you have any questions about Parkinson’s and COVID-19 contact our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or Helpline@Parkinson.org.

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