Support group a help to couple
The Parkinson’s Self-Help Group makes a massive difference to Peterburn couple, Anne and Robert Nimmo.
Robert, who had always been a fit and active man, was in his late 60s when he began to experience stiffness in his joints and his speech became slurred.
“He was never at the doctor and I knew that something was not right,” explained gran of four, Anne, 75.
“When he went to see about it, they put it down to a minor stroke. He returned and they referred him for tests and it came back as Parkinson’s.
“It came as a big shock. The last time Robert was in hospital was when he was nine – he’s 76 now.”
Anne helps her husband with exercises to relieve the stiffness. And when his voice became lower, he went for speech therapy. A chair lift has been fitted in their Craigvale Crescent home and Robert now walks with a stick.
“A couple of days ago, he said:‘Why me?’I told him:‘We’re all different people and we all take different things.’ It’s difficult for him.
“He was always on the go and did not even take a cold or anything,”said Anne, whose husband of 54 years worked his way up from apprentice engineer to a member of the management team at Belmos.
Latterly, he was manager at Coatbridge Bowling Club.
She admits that when they heard about the Parkinson’s Self Help Group they – like many couples – kept putting off their initial visit.
But when they started attending seven years ago, they were made to feel so welcome that it is now a highlight in their week.
“He plays dominoes and has a chat with the men and goes for holistic therapy and massage. I enjoy it myself and like to have a bit of a blether with the women. It helps me because I am meeting people who have been through it,”said Anne.
The Parkinson’s Self-Help Group (PSHG) in Airdrie is a charity for people living with Parkinson’s, and their families.
It helps them support each other to cope with the effects of the condition and its impact on their lives.
In the past 20 years, it has adapted and grown and is recognised as a leading provider of support and services to people whose lives are affected by Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions.
The PSHG offers a drop-in centre and respite lounge five days a week, welfare rights advice, a befriending service, a carers’support group, onand off-site social activities, information, a training centre and venue for hire, home- and centrebased respite services for people living with Parkinson’s and their carers and a therapy centre which is open to members and the public.
It is funded by North Lanarkshire Council, the Big Lottery Fund, Henry Duncan and Lloyds TSB.
For further information, contact centre co-ordinator Ruby Armstrong on 01236 766350.