Episode 101: Support Group Benefits and How to Start One

Parkinson’s is a multifaceted disease, and as such, there are many ways people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can find help, including through medications, exercise, occupational and physical therapy, dance and music therapy, and meditation and mindfulness practices. Another important way is to join a support group to share experiences, learn from peers, and express problems and emotions. Such groups are not just for the person with PD, and care partners often attend and benefit.

In this episode, Allison Allen and Anne Kosem, both licensed clinical social workers and co-coordinators of the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence at Duke University in North Carolina, talk about their experiences and relate some of their knowledge derived from their years facilitating support groups. They discuss how to find a suitable group, what to expect, and how to participate. They also offer some of the considerations for starting a group if one is not already available in an area. These days, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many groups have gone online, widening the choices by opening up possibilities for choosing groups not in one’s own geographic area.

Released: March 23, 2021

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