Over the month, there have been some exciting things happening in WA, with Parkinson’s WA leading the way to promote the lesser-known symptoms associated with Parkinson’s, discussing the importance of exercise and talking about all things Parkinson’s in the community. Read more about what we have been up to below.
Pictured: Parkinson's WA CEO Adjunct Professor, Dr Katrina Stratton Labor Member for Nedlands, Janet McLeod, OAM, Clinical Nurse Manager stand together in the Parkinson's WA office.
Dr Katrina Stratton, Labor Member for Nedlands, met with Parkinson’s WA CEO Adjunct Professor Yasmin Naglazas and Clinical Nurse Manager Janet McLeod on 5 April, at The Niche building at QEII Medical Campus, to speak about the future of the organisation under new leadership. Dr Stratton took the time to engage with the community as she met with the Western Suburbs Parkinson’s WA Support Group and heard from their members and leader.
Leader, Pete said he was pleased to have a Local Member who reflected the community values and listened to their questions with warmth and integrity.
Dr Stratton said it wasn’t just about who you knew with Parkinson’s, it was a condition that touched the lives of so many, especially in the Western Suburbs area, and understanding the condition went a long way.
Pictured: The Western Suburbs Support Group is in full swing, with Dr Katrina Stratton in attendance.
There are currently 675 people living with Parkinson’s in the Western Suburbs and many more that have yet to be diagnosed, so awareness about the condition is crucial.
Over April, the Town of Cambridge have offered their support to the local Parkinson’s community by hosting an information corner at the Cambridge Library with pamphlets, posters, flyers and informative content all about Parkinson’s to promote awareness and understanding of the neurological condition that affects so many.
Town of Cambridge Mayor Keri Shannon said she was delighted to support the local Parkinson’s community.
“Parkinson’s Awareness Month reminds us that Parkinson’s WA is here year-round providing wonderful support to members of our community who are living with the condition,” Mayor Shannon said.
Pictured: Clinical Nurse Manager Janet McLeod, OAM stands with Mayor of the Town of Cambridge, Keri Shannon at Cambridge Library with the Parkinson's WA information stand over April.
“Whether it’s delivering a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist service, hosting support groups or sharing advice through seminars, Parkinson’s WA makes a huge difference in our community, across Perth and around the State.”
“As a show of support for the service, we now have a dedicated display in place at Cambridge Library with information about the condition, the assistance available and how we can all get behind Parkinson’s WA.”
We heard from our Parkinson's Nurse Specialists (PNS) about living with Parkinson's and our South West PNS Donna Mallaby explains how a new Parkinson's diagnosis is a life-changing thing, but it is not life-ending. Find out more about how to manage the news of a new diagnosis here.
"For some, a diagnosis comes as a relief, as you now have a name for how you’ve been feeling. For others, the unknown can be frightening and challenging with so many unanswered questions," Donna said.
"You may have just walked out of your doctor’s office with a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s. Or you may have been diagnosed months ago after noticing your body changing for some time now and you’re thinking, “What now?” Those feelings are very common, and you are not alone."
PNS Fiona Roscoe gave us some interesting insights about Parkinson's in her latest blog: 5 things you never knew about Parkinson's, which you can read here.
Fiona explains that while there is currently no ‘cure’ for Parkinson’s, the symptoms of the condition are treatable and new therapies are in development.
"Many people actually feel significantly better after beginning treatment due to this. This is the so called ‘Honeymoon Period’. In addition, promising research suggests we may be able to delay the progression through targeted exercise therapy," she said.
"Talk to your Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist or Medical Specialist for more."
We learnt more about the history of the Parkinson's tulip through a blog written by Clinical Nurse Manager, Janet McLeod OAM who told us that the tulip had been adopted as a symbol by many Parkinson’s organisations around the world and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association chose the tulip as the symbol for its logo in 1996.
Pictured: Janet McLeod, OAM, Clinical Nurse Manager stands by the door of Parkinson's WA
"The tulip is an ideal flower to adapt and modify in relation to Parkinson’s, as several interesting observations and connections can be made. The stylised format of a tulip so frequently used as a symbol for Parkinson’s organisations is clearly divided into two equal halves - this represents the two sides of the brain," she said.
Together with Main Roads Western Australia and the WA Government on World Parkinson's Day, we joined forces in solidarity to light up the Metro landmarks in Parkinson's purple. Going purple for Parkinson's, we lit up Matagarup Bridge, Mount Street Bridge, Sky Ribbon, Joondalup Drive Bridge and Northbridge Tunnel, which was a fitting display of unity and strength.
Clinical Nurse Manager Janet McLeod had a series of radio interviews on World Parkinson's Day, chatting about the regional offerings of the service and understanding what the day was about and why we needed to acknowledge, honour and remember the great James Parkinson. Janet also gave us some wonderful, thoughtful advice about what to do next after a new Parkinson's diagnosis. You can watch the video here or below.
It has been an amazing month that is still not over, and we have you to thank, the community and our followers, where we will always focus the core of what we do and who we are. We are Parkinson's WA, and we are in this together.
You can find out more about what Parkinson’s WA has been up to, through the news page here.
Words and photos by Jacqui O'Leary