The Parkinson Foundation Provides Caregiver Support Groups
Paradise Home Health Care is proud to co-facilitate these Support Groups which are open to all caregivers whether you are dealing directly with PD or another disease process. They are run in conjunction with the Surf & Turf excercise program for the folks with Parkinson Disease. These programs are quite popular for the information and social aspect of the attendees receive. You can call the Parkinson Foundation to see which other YMCAs in Broward and Palm Beach coutnties offer Surf & Turf programs and Support Groups.
Meetings are held at the Boca Raton Y.M.C.A.– with Surf & Turf exercises every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
At the Boynton Beach Y.M.C.A. with Surf & Turf exercises every Wednesday from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
At the Delray Beach Community Wellness Center 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month, with Pounding for Parkinson exercise from 12:15-1:15
These groups are free of charge to NPF members. For further information please contact Robin Miller, Executive Director of the South Palm Beach Chapter of the National Parkinson Foundation at: 561-962-1702.
Support groups of all kinds whether for grief, cardiac rehab or caregivers are a very good way for people with very similar experiences and challenges to come together and learn about the topic or disease, what is happening with research and ways of dealing with caring for a loved one. A situation where “my husband sleeps all the time, what can I do?” is addressed to the group and more often than not, another caregiver in the group will have advice from personal experience or from something they read to help the woman. If the group cannot share some wisdom on a particular matter, it is up to the facilitator to offer some suggestions or give resource material to members. Family members, whether local or visiting are always welcome to attend, with member’s permission. All benefit from another family member’s perspective.
It is an honor to assist these brave, mostly women who have ill spouses. The physical and emotional stress is quite real and non-stop. A Support Group is a good place to vent, learn and regain some perspective. Guest speakers are also brought in as per the requests and interests of members. Certainly all speakers have a familiarity or connection with Parkinson Disease so that the information is most useful to the member’s situation. Such simple things like where to get grab bars, what Medicare does and does not cover, what is the newest medication options for PD, or comparing area Neurologists are some the things members learn about. Resources are given for therapists, Elder Law Attorneys, the Five Wishes, home improvements which adapt the home to the physical needs of the person– for safety, comfort and design.
In addition to facilitating two Caregiver Support Groups for Parkinson Disease, Paradise Home Health Care also helps to raise money for the chapter and offers some specials to families managing PD. One such offer is to meet with the family for a free assessment and do the paperwork without needing to commit to a schedule. This enables couples to connect with a licensed home care company, even if care is not needed. They are “inactive clients”. Should an emergency such as a fall occur or a spouse wants to go out of town, they can just call and set up service. This is especially helpful in a crisis situation. They do not have to first find a home care company and then do all the paperwork. They can just call and say when help is needed, even if it is needed ASAP.
Should more than six months pass before care is needed, a second visit is made to update the assessment. Many people enjoy this freedom and it takes a stress off their mind — they know they are covered with a company they know, and know them when the need arises.
For information on NPF annual membership, which includes the Surf & Turf program with Caregiver Support Group, please contact Robin Miller at – 561-962-1702. Group sizes average from 6 to 18 depending on location and time of year.