Every nine minutes someone in our community is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Chances are you or someone you know or love will be affected by the disease.
PD is the fastest growing neurological disorder. Some scientists report that PD has surpassed Alzheimer’s disease as the number one age related diagnosed neurodegenerative disease. With no cure in sight, diagnosis at the average age of 60 and living in a community where more than 25% of its residents are 65 years of age or older has led to many Scientists and Neurologists believing we are on the cusp of an emerging pandemic. And as life expectancy increases, so does the number of people living with the disease which is expected to double in the next 15 years.
It is a disease of the central nervous system that touches almost every aspect of daily living, including: movement, mood, speech, eating and drinking, sleep, and cognitive changes. It progresses over time, robbing a person of independence through increasing complications, and impacts the loved ones of people with Parkinson as well.
Currently there is no objective test to diagnosis PD. Typically, a Neurologist takes a careful medical history and performs a thorough neurological examination, looking in particular for two or more of the cardinal signs to be present. Following are the 10 early warning signs of Parkinson Disease:
1. Tremor or Shaking
2. Small Handwriting
3. Loss of smell
4. Trouble Sleeping
5. Trouble Moving or Walking
7. A Soft or Low Voice
8. Masked Face
9. Dizziness or Fainting
10. Stooped or Hunched Over
For over twenty years, The Parkinson Association of Southwest Florida (PASFI) has been improving the quality of life of persons with Parkinson’s and their care partners while creating a safe, nurturing and welcoming community. PASFI advocate for our members and educate our community about PD. PASFI nurture relationships among those involved in the care of persons with PD.
PASFI connects people to the information, support services, programs and activities they need to enhance wellness, live an active, engaged life moving forward and delay the progression of the disease. Daily from Marco Island to southern Lee County, we offer movement classes, support groups, speech classes, social activities and educational programming for people with PD, their care partners and families.
It is through the generosity of our community that we are able to provide quality programs and services free of charge. We receive no government funding to support our work.
April is National Parkinson’s Awareness month. Together, we can empower people with PD, their families and friend, researchers, health professionals and others to raise awareness and encourage them to advocate for those impacted by the disease.
This April, PASFI holds several events to celebrate the month. Two fundraising events to support the local Parkinson community are: Tulip Tuesday on April 3rd and the 18th annual Augusta on the Gulf on Friday, April 27 at the Vineyards Country Club.
For more information on Parkinson Disease or to get involved please call 239-417-3465 or visit our office at 5926 Premier Way, Suite 114 Naples, Florida 34109.