Parkinson’s Disease- A Disabling Disease

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If you are one of the millions of people suffering from Parkinson’s disease and debilitating conditions like it, you may have considered going on disability. Both the physical and mental symptoms, including loss of body control, stiffness, tremors, depression, and thinking problems can take a toll on a patient’s daily life. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled “Specialized Care Urged for Treating Parkinson’s Disease” detailing the unconventional methods Parkinson’s patients can use to seek support and care. Many movement-disease specialists encourage treatment far beyond the ‘Here, take a pill’ tradition.

In the past, patients have had to make the effort to locate well-trained and knowledgeable health professionals that specialize in movement-diseases. The Wall Street Journal reveals that out of 500 patients that completed a Harris Poll survey for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, only 28% of the participants were seeing movement-disorder specialists, and roughly 50% of the them felt “informed” or “very informed” about how to control their symptoms. These statistics point to a lack of education about treatment and access to care in this medical field.

To close this gap between education and care, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has taken an important first step. In collaboration with the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, the foundation has launched their newest initiative called, Partners in Parkinson’s. This program offers an online tool to help patients locate a movement-disorder specialist; it has also implemented patient and family events where specialists in surrounding clinics demonstrate comprehensive evaluations. Beyond the doctor’s office, specialists motivate patients to engage in a regular exercise routine to delay disease progression. Dr. Lawrence Elmer of the University of Toledo’s Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center affirms that an active lifestyle can help and even reverse the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive illness that impairs one’s function tremendously. Protecting your rights to financial security becomes a paramount concern and disability benefits through your employer’s plan or your private policy is critical. We at Bonny G. Rafel, LLC are experienced advocates for the disabled. Contact us for a consultation if your occupational abilities are hindered as a result of Parkinson’s disease. We may be able to help.

By Hannah G. Silverman