We recognize that PD affects not just those diagnosed but also their children, spouses, friends, and care partners.
The good news is that no one is ever alone in their diagnosis — PCLA offers support for the whole village.
When facing a long-term disease, you may wonder how you can best show up for a loved one. Or you may struggle with even showing up for yourself.
Whether you have been directly affected by PD or know someone who has, here are six ways to give and receive love this February and beyond:
1. Check in on Friends & Family
If you know someone living with Parkinson’s or a care partner, take this time to give them a call or visit to see how they are doing. Make a date to go to the movies, have a picnic, or simply drink tea and chat.
Every interaction, no matter how big or small, can help show you care and spread the love.
2. Share Your Story
With millions of people active on social media, social media is an impactful outlet for sharing your or a loved one’s experience with PD.
By bringing visibility to Parkinson’s, you help to enlighten the newly diagnosed and the general public! Break common misconceptions, share helpful guides, and voice your support.
Sharing your story helps to build solidarity in the PD community and shows that no one is truly alone.
3. Join a Support Group
Support groups are great ways to connect directly with the PD community. There is something for everyone with options for online groups and regular local events.
Sharing your experience with your or a loved one’s diagnosis can be beneficial in more ways than one. You might find it cathartic to process your emotions in the presence of others going through a similar experience. Not only this, but it is also a practice in extending care to those struggling. With each story shared, the web of support is strengthened.
Visit our support page for more information on PCLA-hosted events and community-led support groups.
4. Donate to PCLA
A donation to PCLA directly supports families in the Los Angeles area. So many people struggle with the funds necessary for healthcare and emotional support during their diagnosis. Your contribution ensures these people get the care they need to live a fulfilling life with PD.
Donations to PCLA fund programs and events critical to strengthening the PD network. These encompass over 15 support groups, educational programs such as the “Let’s Talk Parkinson’s” online series, and resources that connect and inspire those living with Parkinson’s.
5. Become an Advocate
Advocacy is when an individual or organization helps spread awareness and raise support for a cause. It can involve activities like sharing your story, connecting with loved ones, attending events, organizing and participating in fundraisers, and engaging the media and government — all to champion an important mission.
These actions help spread awareness of PD and move the community closer to a place of understanding and support.
Interested in becoming an advocate for Parkinson’s? Join us on February 23rd for “Taking Action! How to Advocate for People with Parkinson’s”. This is a free online event where you will learn about how to become an advocate and the impact that taking action can have across the community.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
A PD diagnosis can stir up many emotions. However, know that these feelings are normal, and you deserve kindness and grace at every step.
Care for your mental health by talking openly about your Parkinson’s disease experiences. Reach out when you need to, and know you’re never alone.
Show your body love by eating well and incorporating daily movement (like indoor and outdoor exercise) into your routine. The smallest acts, even a 15-minute walk around the block, can be monumental in shifting your mindset.
Practice self-care by allowing yourself to have fun, from watching your favorite feel-good movie to playing board games. Whatever you need to spark joy and carve out time for yourself.
Above all else, recognize that your feelings are valid and you do not need to experience them alone.
Join a Loving Parkinson’s Community
At PCLA, we believe that we are stronger together. Whether you or a loved one are diagnosed with Parkinson’s, take time this month to consider all the big ways that even the smallest acts of love can make an impact. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions about PD, resources, and events.