Support Groups Are What You Make Them

There is no denying that Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an awful and debilitating illness that makes life much more challenging. Sometimes, whether we like to admit it or not, we need help. A support group can be an excellent way of receiving the help that you seek.

As someone who used to shun support groups, I decided that I would develop my own style of group. I wanted a group where patients and care-partners could come and feel empowered and educated. A support group should not leave you feeling helpless, alone, or without hope. Our group shares information about new developments in the world of PD as well as what is working and what isn’t working. Often, group members suggest  something to try or a tweak that maybe those seeking a suggestion hadn’t considered. In my mind, this is the model of the kind of support group that can really benefit both patient and care-partner.

Here are some suggestions to starting a support group that can empower your participants:

  • Educating others and giving alternatives provides an opportunity to change one’s situation for the better.
  • Maintaining a positive and hopeful spin on your meetings not only keeps the meetings upbeat but can make for a more united and cohesive group.
  • Sharing doctor information can be one of the best ways to find the right doctor or neurologist for you.
  • Sometimes, just going to a support group reminds you that you have more options than you thought.
  • A support group is what the members make it. Like any group, the members  keep the group alive and with care and gentle adjustment from group leaders to keep the meetings on track, a support group meeting can be a very healing and beneficial tool to contribute to your healing.

About Karl Robb

Karl Robb has had Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over twenty-five years. Karl believes he has had PD since he was seventeen years old and was diagnosed at the age of twenty-three. Now fifty, he is a Parkinson advocate, entrepreneur, inventor, writer, blogger, photographer, Reiki Master, and speaker on PD issues. Karl is the author of the book, A Soft Voice in a Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease. He has been chosen as a blogger partner for the 4th World Parkinson Congress being held this September in Portland, Oregon. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writing has been featured in The New York Post and he has appeared on BBC radio, the CBS Saturday Evening News, Japanese television, as well as several local Washington, D.C., television stations. Karl is a former board member and a Virginia assistant state director of the Parkinson’s Action Network and a board member of the Parkinson Voice Project. You may reach Karl via email at asoftvoice@gmail.com, visit his blog at www.asoftvoice.com, on Facebook, or contact him via Twitter @asoftvoicepd.

Posted on October 24, 2011, in Education & Support, Parkinson's Disease, support groups and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. i continue to love your blog, you get it absolutely right every time 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: