Help­ing peo­ple learn to live with Parkin­son’s

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

At the re­cent World Parkin­son’s Day event at Hud­der­s­field Town Hall are Kirklees Mayor and her con­sort Chris­tine and Robert Iredale with Parkin­son’s UK Hud­der­s­field Branch Sec­re­tary Karen Hob­son and trea­surer Cather­ine Mills

Al­though he had de­vel­oped the clas­sic tre­mors in his hands, Cyn­thia says she had started to no­tice he was also hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties with his mem­ory.

As Ray­mond ex­plained: “My wife has a hear­ing prob­lem and if she asked me to say some­thing again I couldn’t re­mem­ber what I’d been say­ing.”

He now uses a walk­ing frame and a walk­ing stick and they’ve had adap­ta­tions to their home. Parkin­son’s hasn’t stopped them from trav­el­ling but they have found go­ing on hol­i­day, or even out for the day, much more chal­leng­ing.

Ray­mond’s mo­bil­ity is­sues have been com­pounded by the fact that at 56 he had to re­tire be­cause of a form group.

El­iz­a­beth says the chil­dren at the school where she was work­ing as a din­ner lady had started to no­tice her hands were shak­ing. She ex­plained: “I couldn’t clean the plates fast enough and the chil­dren asked me if I was cold be­cause I was shak­ing. I knew then it was time to go.”

For­tu­nately El­iz­a­beth is mo­bile and able to get out and about, al­though in the past 12 months she has ex­pe­ri­enced greater fa­tigue, bal­ance is­sues and a gen­eral slow­ing down. Even sim­ply tasks, such as get­ting dressed, can prove chal­leng­ing.

Parkin­son’s is not just a life-changer for the pa­tient, it also af­fects fam­i­lies and car­ers. As Fred says: “I took vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy from my job in a ware­house at 63. Be­fore I did very lit­tle around the house, now I have to pull my fin­ger out. There are cer­tain things that I have to do. She strug­gles to walk a dis­tance now and we used to like walk­ing.”

The cou­ple at­tend an ex­er­cise class for Parkin­son’s pa­tients at Shel­ley Vil­lage Hall ev­ery Mon­day morn­ing and El­iz­a­beth still en­joys sewing – a skill that she has man­aged to re­tain. Any­one who sus­pects they may have Parkin­son’s symp­toms should first con­sult their GP, who can re­fer them to a neu­rol­o­gist. Parkin­son’s nurse Sarah says not every­one will need a brain scan to di­ag­nose the con­di­tion. She ex­plained: “Pa­tients should be seen by a con­sul­tant within 10 or 12 weeks and treat­ment can be­gin straight away. “If the con­sul­tant needs to know more they ask for a DaTSCAN, which is like an MRI scan but more in depth. Leeds Gen­eral In­fir­mary is the near­est hos­pi­tal that does them. “Once some­one has had a di­ag­no­sis they will be re­ferred

to me.” Sarah runs clin­ics at Acre Mills and Oak­lands Health Cen­tre.

How­ever, fur­ther help and ad­vice is avail­able from Parkin­son’s UK Hud­der­s­field branch, which meets on the third Thurs­day of the month at Lon­g­ley Park Golf Club in Maple Street, Hud­der­s­field. It also runs chair yoga classes and hosts speak­ers.

For more de­tails visit parkin­sons. org.uk/hud­der­s­field or call the sec­re­tary Karen Hob­son on 01484 680349.

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