Specialist nurses a crucial support
PARKINSON’S WA nurse Janet McLeod is telling people all over the world how a program in Nedlands is helping people with the disease to live longer.
In 1998, Mrs McLeod answered an advertisement for the one-year trial of a Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist at Parkinson’s WA.
Sixteen years on, the Parkinson’s WA and Health Department initiative has six nurses – five funded by the State Government and one through the Theodore and Isabella Wearne Charity Trust.
Mrs McLeod, who studied nursing in Ireland, has talked about the importance of Parkinson’s nurses to audiences in Vienna, Washington and Portugal.
“The mission is to improve the wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s and to support people and their families living with Parkinson’s in the community through education, advocacy and monitoring,” she said.
“We work closely with the medical fraternity… we are the interface between medical and personal.
“The uniqueness of our role in WA is we are based with the association and we are there on behalf of the patient.
“We can follow a patient through.”
Parkinson’s WA recently celebrated its 30th birthday.
Chief executive Brenda Matthews said the event was a celebration of what Parkinson’s WA had achieved over the past 30 years and a huge “thank you” to supporters.
“Our organisation has come so far and it’s thanks to the Western Australian community, including government and industry, that we are able to provide worldrenowned specialist nursing services, and fund Parkinson’s research here in Western Australia,” Ms Matthews said.
Mrs McLeod said one of her patient lived for 43 years with Parkinson’s disease.
Specialist Parkinson’s disease nurse Janet McLeod.