When you are first diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it can be overwhelming. Take time to understand how the disease can impact you physically and how it can impact your mood and emotions.
These 5 steps — in any order that works for you — will help get you started on your journey to living well with Parkinson’s.
1. Think about what is most important to you
Based on what’s important to you, determine your personal goals and priorities. This will help you create an action plan to continue doing the things you love and care about most.
“The mind is not separate from the body. It directly affects the quality of life for people with PD and their care partners."
– Gretchen, person with Parkinson’s diagnosed 2017
2. Find someone you can talk to
When you’re ready, we encourage you to talk to someone, whether that is calling our Helpline, 1.800.4PD. INFO (473.4636) to ask questions, or reaching out to a family member or friend, or another person with Parkinson’s. Don’t isolate yourself, you are not alone.
We now have a whole network of people who understand. It may be hard at first, but connect with other people who are living with PD. You’ll be glad you did. “
– Karen, care partner, husband diagnosed 2002
3. Create healthy habits
Choosing healthy foods may help your medications work better and improve your energy. Getting enough sleep can help your body and brain recharge. Small changes can make a big difference and creating a healthy routine may help you feel better. Learn from others through our online community, Parkinson.org/NewlyDiagnosed.
4. Be active in whatever way works best for you
It’s a fact: exercise can improve your quality of life. Visit our website, Parkinson.org/NewlyDiagnosed, to learn about the importance of exercise and find a Moving Day event near you. Get up, get out there, get active.
"Take a walk. Climb those stairs. Keep moving. Find activity everywhere you go. “
– Dave, person with Parkinson’s diagnosed 2004
5. Find a doctor who is an expert in Parkinson’s disease
Call our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) to find expert care in your area. Look for a neurologist who treats people with Parkinson’s, and when possible, a movement disorder specialist.
“Go to the best specialist you can find. Talk with others for recommendations. Don’t settle.”
– Andreé, person with Parkinson’s diagnosed 2007
You are not alone. You have control in how you handle and manage Parkinson’s. The Parkinson’s Foundation is here for you, every step of the way.
Staffed by Parkinson’s disease information specialists speaking both English and Spanish, the Helpline is free and here to support you — and your loved ones — in any way possible, including:
- Current information about Parkinson’s
- Referrals to healthcare professionals
- A wide variety of free publications
- Emotional support
- Community resources