DES MOINES, Iowa –The COVID-19 outbreak has moved many things online, including support groups.
That’s the case for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, which is a type of movement disorder that affects the ability to perform common daily activities. It’s chronic and progressive, meaning the symptoms become worse over time.
“Support groups are really important for Parkinson’s patients. We have about 53 across the state that meet all over Iowa,” said Natasha Winterbottom with the Iowa Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.
“Since we’re not able to meet, we kind of put our heads together, and we’re like how can we still get these individuals the support they need, especially in this time with anxiety and depression? Everybody is locked in their homes. So, it is important to have that support,” she said.
The organization launched a private online support group. You can find that on the Iowa APDA Support Group Facebook page. It is for those diagnosed and their caregivers.
The online group will have different speakers each week on how patients and caregivers can deal with the disease during the COVID-19 outbreak.
They’ll also focus on exercise, which can help slow the progression of the disease. You can find suggested exercises on apdaparkinson.org.