N E W S F E E D S >>>
Health & Welfare

Links & Information

Parkinsons Support Group

Parkinsons Support Group - Caithness

Mr Peter Cowell                      
2 Newton Avenue
Tel 01955 603513

Voluntary Organiser
Jane Coll
KW14 8XQ
TEL 01847 851701

The Welfare Visitor is happy to help anyone with Parkinsonís Disease. There is no obligation to join the society. The service is free. She can help you to learn about Parkinsonís Disease, tell you about what other services are available and what benefits you could apply for. She is also happy just to sit and talk to you or your family.

Parkinsonís Disease Society Ė United Kingdom
215 Vauxhall Bridge Road,

TEL 0171 931 8080
FAX 0171 233 9908

Helpline open Monday to Friday 10.00am Ė 4.00pm 0171 233 5373

The Societyís helpline is run by the Care Services Manager and manned by dedicated volunteers who offer a "listening ear" to anyone with Parkinsonís or their families who need to talk to someone, safe in the knowledge that their call is confidential and the person listening understands Parkinsonís.

The Societyís mission is the conquest of Parkinsonís Disease and the alleviation of suffering and distress it causes, through effective research, education, welfare and communication.

Parkinsonís disease is named after Dr. James Parkinson (1755 Ė 1824) the London doctor whose essay on "the Shaking Palsy", was published in 1817. James Parkinson established the condition as a clinical entity and his essay continues to be recognised through the world as a classic description of the condition.

Parkinsonís is a progressive neurological disorder affecting learned voluntary movements such as walking, talking, writing and swallowing. There are three main symptoms: tremor, rigidity and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). However not everyone will experience all three symptoms. Parkinsonís results from the loss of a chemical messenger in the mid-brain. The cause is as yet unidentified and there is no known cure. Parkinsonís is not inherited nor is it contagious.

The incidence of Parkinsonís is approximately 1:500 in the general population, rising to 1:100 over the age of 65 and 1:50 over the age of 80. A little recognised fact is that 1:20 people are diagnosed are aged under 40. There are more than 120,000 people with Parkinsonís in the United Kingdom today and it is common in all parts of the world.

The main treatment for Parkinsonís is drug therapy. Because no two people with Parkinsonís are exactly alike, the drug treatment has to be tailored to the individual and the timing of the medication is as important as the dosage. With the optimum drug treatment, life expectancy for Parkinsonís is normal. Surgical techniques are also being researched. Management plays a very important part in the care of people with Parkinsonís and professions such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy have an important role to play.

Help for carers is also vitally important.

The Parkinsonís Disease Society was founded in 1969 by Miss Mali Jenkins. Her sister had Parkinsonís. It is a registered charity existing to help all people with Parkinsonís, their families and friends.

Most of the Societyís income is derived from voluntary donations, bequests and fund raising activities. The Society operates a membership scheme but it is important to note that the Society exists to help all people with Parkinsonís and their families. It makes no distinction between members and non members in terms of the help that it offers.

The London Office co-ordinates, develops and administrates the Societyís national work in the areas of research, welfare, education, information and public relations.

The Care Services Department responds to the needs of people with Parkinsonís and their relatives and aims to improve the quality of their lives. Care services staff can provide support and advice on practical and emotional issues such as councelling, benefits and finance, driving, equipment and residential and respite care.

Information is available on all aspects of Parkinsonís, catering for the newly diagnosed, the more advanced Parkinsonian, their relatives, and for professionals involved in the care of people with Parkinsonís. The Society also publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Parkinson.

Medical research is funded by the Society in many different university departments and research institutions in the United Kingdom and at the Societyís Brain Research Centre at the Institute of Neurology in London. This research concentrates on trying to find a cure for Parkinsonís and discovering new and improved treatments. Welfare projects are also funded, aimed at establishing models of good practice and improving services for people with Parkinsonís and their families.

The Fundraising Department is concerned with developing national fundraising strategies, including an annual prize draw.

The Public Relations section is responsible for raising awareness of Parkinsonís and the Society including media relations, advertising, and Parkinsonís Awareness Week every April.

Forsyth House, Lomond Court, Castle Business Park, Stirling. FK9 4TU
Tel: 01786 433811 Fax: 01786 431811 e-mail: pds.scotland@parkinsons.org.uk

The country has been divided into three regions north, central and south. Each region is divided into three or four areas, where there is a full time Area Officer apart from Northern Ireland which has a part-time Area Officer. The role of the Area Officer is to promote the Societyís aims in their area, working with branches, families affected by Parkinsonís and statutory and voluntary organisations.

The Area Officers encourage the setting up of branches or self-help groups to meet local needs, support branches in their activities and encourage links with other branches and the Society as a whole. They are also involved in welfare, education, information and fundraising work within their area.

The Society has over 200 branches all over the country. They are run by volunteers, often people who have Parkinsonís and their families. Each branch is different in the help which they offer, but generally they provide opportunities for mutual support and social activities through monthly meetings, as well as providing practical help at a local level. Some branches also have welfare visitors who can advise on welfare facilities locally and those available through the London office. They visit branch members and other people with Parkinsonís. The branches are also involved in fundraising and public awareness.

Further information on the activities of the local branch can be obtained from the Hon. Secretary of the branch or from the Area Officer.

 There is a special interest group for younger people with PD and the London or Stirling offices can give more details

An introductory booklet is available from the Society. 38p in stamps would be greatly appreciated.

Cheques/Postal orders should be made payable to the Parkinsonís Disease Society.
Covenant forms are also available.
Information on legacies can also be provided.

Information on volunteering is available.
Volunteer Drivers are always welcome and services may only mean driving once a month to take members to meetings between Wick and Thurso.

There a vast amount of information Online regarding Parkinson's. 
"JAMES", a site about Parkinson's Disease has many links to sites in the UK and around the world.  Details of current research and much more on the subject can be found at http://james.parkinsons.org.uk/index.htm

Anyone with transport problems may wish to try out the Dial-A-Taxi service.  For more details and contact click here for the Community Transport page.

SPRING (Special Parkinson's Research Interest Group) is the official
Special  Interest Group for Medical Research, constituted within the Parkinson's
 Disease Society of UK.
 To find a 'cure' for Parkinson's Disease
 To back research for better drugs
 To find the cause of the disease
 To prevent the disease