A growing number of younger people are being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s. Many men and women are still actively working and wondering about having “the talk” with an employer about the future. Advice found in the web site link below is particularly important, as is educating oneself about workplace rights under the American with Disabilities Act:
“Give yourself time to absorb the news, and take some time to educate yourself about Parkinson’s disease and how it will progress over time. …you don’t want to talk to your boss about Parkinson’s if you yourself know very little about the disorder and can’t answer questions.”
“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA; www.ada.gov), which is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, prohibits workplace discrimination due to disability as long as you can demonstrate that you can perform the job in question when reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate you.”
Click on the link to read excellent “talking points” for holding open, honest discussion with an employer, human resources staff, and fellow employees.
Young (“early”) Onset Parkinson’s support group information is available by contacting the American Parkinson Disease Association Massachusetts Chapter’s Information & Referral Service located in Boston (http://apdama.org/wcms/about-us/information-referral-center/)
For ten years, the Marblehead Parkinson’s support group was honored to have as one of its most beloved members a man we referred to as “Captain” Cobbett (a/k/a Bill Cobbett, a long-standing Swampscott, MA resident and former biology teacher at Marblehead High School). He was fond of writing poetry and dedicated this one titled “The Journey” to his fellow support group friends. Bill passed unexpectedly in May of 2012 – a huge loss to all who knew him. In his memory, during this April’s Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we offer his warm message to you…
~ Bill Cobbett ~
Ulysses’ journey – the Odyssey – took ten long years to do.
Our trip may take much longer, but with hope we’ll see it through.
Ulysses found that his odyssey had problems along the way,
and all of us on our journeys work through trials that come each day.
For some of us, the odyssey is slowly gaining speed.
But most of you will miss this trip – one you neither want nor need.
Ulysses solved his problems in ways only he could do.
We too will conquer challenges with help from a supportive crew.
This trip is different from those we took in days long ago and passed.
There seems no way of knowing just how long the journey will last.
As yet, we’re not quite sure just what we’ll do and learn,
or when PD finally has a cure, to where we will return.
Unlike a tourist on a trip who sees what a tourist sees,
We’re like sailors on changing seas, at the whim of an ocean breeze.
This journey wasn’t planned by us as to what we’ll learn and do.
The life you’ll have – and how to live it – is entirely up to you.
Parkinson’s will, one day, be cured with work and time…
And hope can make life brighter, as it strides the horizon line.
Together we’ll find our bearings
to chart a course that’s true…
and that success, to a large extent, will come from support –
like that I’ve found in you!
Swampscott, MA resident
Husband, father, grandfather, gardener, flower arranger, poet, wood carver,
friend and source of encouragement to all who knew him.
Marblehead Parkinson’s support group member
Passed from our lives in May, 2012
During our recent Marblehead support group meeting – while listening to the members share with one another about how April is recognized as world-wide Parkinson’s Awareness Month – I found myself wishing more people could understand that for those challenged by the condition, awareness isn’t 30 days long…it’s a lifetime.
Marilyn Freeman, volunteer support group facilitator
In tribute to care partners everywhere who do their best to help ease the challenges that Parkinson’s creates…
“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.” – Albert Schweitzer