Courtney Malburg, Senior Coordinator, Education & Publications, Parkinson’s Foundation
Parkinson’s disease is a family affair, but care partners and loved ones of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are often overlooked. The Parkinson’s Foundation works to make life better for everyone whose life is impacted by it, not just the individual living with the disease.
Care partners and loved ones of people with Parkinson’s need support and tailored education focused on the disease, their role in caring for their loved one, and how to address and maintain their own physical and mental health when their instinct may be to downplay how important self-care is.
The Parkinson’s Foundation Care Partner Program: Building a Care Partnership offers a series of self-paced online courses composed of conversations with real care partners, lessons from health professionals, self-reflection prompts, and more. The powerful interviews with diverse Parkinson’s care partners from around the country featured inside each course will remind participants that they are not alone in their experience and empower them to better take care of both themselves and their loved ones with PD.
Recognizing that care partners often find themselves balancing many tasks and responsibilities, these courses were created with the flexibility that care partners needd. There is no time limit on any course within the program—care partners can complete a course in one sitting or participate over a week or a month in 5- to 10-minute sessions. There is also no expectation that any care partner will complete every course within the program—courses can be completed in any order, and care partners are encouraged to focus only on what is relevant to them. While the program currently includes nine courses on topics such as symptom management, care partner self-care, assessing caregiver burnout and more, additional courses are being created as care partners share their stories, needs, and experiences.
After completing a course within the Parkinson’s Foundation Care Partner Program, one care partner shared that the program helped him “feel more hopeful.” Another said she found it “comforting to know my situation is not unique,” and that the program “helped confirm that I was on the right track.”
To register for the free courses, follow the instructions on the inserted postcard or visit Parkinson.org/CarePartnerProgram.