Last Saturday, my wife, Angela and I had the great privilege to address over 300 people with Parkinson’s and their carepartners/caregivers in beautiful and historic Williamsburg, VA at the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) Virginia Education Day. This event was hosted by the APDA Hampton Roads Chapter and the APDA Richmond Metro Chapter.
Angela and I participated in a couples talk with Charlie and Cammy Bryan, who are well known for their state-wide work, writing and advocacy. We really enjoyed working with them! The moderator, Don Bradway, knows both couples and did a masterful job of getting us to talk about our lives, perspectives on Parkinson’s disease, and our philosophy on living well with Parkinson’s. We got to meet so many amazing people who are living well with Parkinson’s!
Neurologists from around Virginia did an informative panel on understanding, managing, and living with Parkinson’s disease. My friend and fellow advocate, Bob Pearson did a talk with a neurologist on the importance of clinical trials and his experiences in participating in these studies. A clinical dietitian, Ms. Ka Wong from Hunter Holmes McGuire Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Richmond did a very informative talk on inflammation and diet.
The final breakout, held concurrently with the caregiving session, was a panel introduction to the benefits of a variety of therapies including PWR!, Rock Steady Boxing, Yoga, LSVT/BIG and SPEAKOUT!, and Tai Chi! My wife attended the caregiver session which was a panel discussion with three family caregivers. This panel shared their experiences on a variety of caregiver issues, provided informational tips and offered resources.
What was unique about this conference was the variety of people sharing their knowledge with our Parkinson’s community – those living with Parkinson’s, the medical community, allied health professionals and more. This event happens every other year and brings Virginia’s Parkinson’s community together to review the developments in Parkinson’s disease, to inform, to inspire, and to educate.
Online registration is still open until 9/25 for the 2019 APDA Virginia Education Day being held next Saturday 9/28 (9am-4pm) at the DoubleTree Williamsburg.
Registration is only $25 for this day long event which includes speakers on a variety of important topics including:
-People who have Parkinson’s discussing how they live well with Parkinson’s
-Neurologists discussing how to people can live well with Parkinson’s
-Caregiver discussing tips and tricks
-Exercise panel discussing PWR!, Rock Steady Boxing, Tai Chi. Yoga and BIG
and much more!
1. Why isn’t there a National CareGiver’s Appreciation Day?
2. Why isn’t there a day devoted to remembering friends and loved ones who have left us?
3. Why do we (the USA as a culture) shy away from the ill, the frail, and elderly, when they need the assistance the most?
4. Why don’t we educate students in high schools, colleges, or even younger kids with classes on illnesses and illness sensitivity training?
5. Don’t the ill and disabled have even more to teach than the healthy person, because they live with an even greater challenge than those of us living with a fully functional body?
6. Shouldn’t caregivers and carepartners receive a stipend or tax break for all that they do to take care of their loved ones plus keep them out of hospitals and nursing homes?
7. Why can’t we have a more progressive healthcare and insurance system that rewards proper nutrition and self-care with lower doctor bills and reduced insurance rates?
8. When are doctors going to come around and finally embrace complimentary therapies instead of the old cliché response, “Well, you can do it as long it doesn’t do any harm, I suppose.”?
9. Are we ever going to hear a doctor admit that he/she was ever wrong or made a mistake?
10. When is the medical community going to stop treating people with illnesses as someone who is incapable of making choices or knowledge of their own condition? Who is more knowledgeable of illness, the person living with it on a daily basis, or the doctor trying to treat and maybe even cure it?
I would love to know what you think! Please send your comments and don’t forget to subscribe to get new postings, if you like my blog. I am happy to announce that Twitter account will be active in the next day or so, so please follow me on Twitter very soon!
Thanks for reading!