Spe­cial­ist nurses a cru­cial support

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Opinion - By DENISE S. CAHILL

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Spe­cial­ist Parkin­son’s dis­ease nurse Janet McLeod.

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