Living With Parkinson’s Disease

May is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Senior City takes a look at how people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease manage their symptoms and live with it.

parkinsons disease, living with parkinsons disease, michael j fox 2011, linda ronstadt 2009, billy graham, billy connelly 2012, baby boomers, senior citizens(Source Photos: Flickr SRR | Photo Montage: Senior City)

Treatment plans for Parkinson’s Disease

  • Are likely to include the following behavioural directives for day-to-day living:
  • Maintain a healthy diet to maintain muscle and bone strength and avoid constipation
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule and pre-sleep routines
  • Get physical activity and exercise to build strength and confidence
  • Use assistive devices for mobility and safety in the bathroom, bedroom and other areas of the home and outdoors (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, hand grips, etc.)

Who is Living with Parkinson’s Disease?

michael j fox 2011, canadian actor, parkinsons disease, living with parkinsons disease, older, baby boomers, senior citizen(Michael J. Fox 2011 Photo: djtomdog | Flickr Some rights reserved)

Baby boomer and Canadian actor Michael J. Fox started to notice symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease when he was only 30 years old (in 1991); he was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s Disease in 1992. Fox chose not to disclose his Parkinson’s diagnosis until 1998, and he’s still living with the disease now in his 50+ years. Michael J. Fox will celebrate his 55th birthday in 2016. 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is “Dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.” 

American boxer Muhammad Ali began to show early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease with vocal stutters and trembling hands in 1979. Ali continued to box for another two years (losing badly each time), before retiring. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 42, in 1984; he’s now a septuagenarian senior citizen and will celebrate his 75th birthday in 2016.  Update: Muhammad Ali died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74.

linda ronstadt 2009, american singer, parkinsons disease, living with parkinsons disease(Linda Ronstadt 2009 Photo: Eric Frommer | Flickr Some rights reserved)

Singer and baby boomer Linda Ronstadt was not diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease until 2012, after she became a senior citizen.

Ronstadt has said that she may have had early symptoms as early as 8 years before her diagnosis; she noticed her hands shaking in 2005 and her singing began to be affected in 2007. Linda will become a septuagenarian senior citizen in July 2016.

American evangelist Billy Graham has lived with Parkinson’s Disease since 1992 when he was a septuagenarian senior citizen. Graham will celebrate his 98th birthday in November 2016.

billy connolly 2012, scottish comedian, parkinsons disease, living with parkinsons disease, older, senior citizen, baby boomer(Billy Connolly 2012 Photo: Eva Rinaldi | Flickr Some rights reserved)

Scottish comedian and senior citizen Billy Connolly was diagnosed in 2013 with Parkinson’s Disease. Connolly’s friend and fellow comedian Robin Williams committed suicide in 2014 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease; Williams was found to have been suffering from Lewy Body Dementia which is often closely associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

Connolly told the Mirror in early 2016 that “Parkinson’s is scary if you want it to be, but you mustn’t let it take control. I stay positive just by getting on and going to work. When I was first told, I didn’t know what to do about it. I had no intention of retiring.” Billy Connolly will celebrate his 74th birthday in November 2016. 

More Information on Parkinson’s Disease:

Parkinson Canada

National Parkinson Foundation

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