People living with PD have the need for a wide range of resources, depending on stage of disease and particular symptoms. Listed below are a few major categories of concern for people living with chronic disease generally and PD in particular. Consider all these non-medical support services.
National and local Parkinson's disease organizations provide a range of information services, including materials and booklets on Parkinson’s disease, treatments, and treatment-related issues.
Some people are reluctant to seek counseling, but having a mental health professional to talk to can reduce stress and help people better understand how to adapt and cope with changes that accompany chronic illness. Counseling can be provided by a psychologist, licensed social worker, or a licensed mental health professional. Ask your doctor for a referral or look in your local phone book. Remember that religious organizations can be helpful for some of your patients.
Skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy, social work services, and nutrition counseling are all available at home. Provide this information to your patient. For a list of local resources, contact the National Parkinson Foundation helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636). Medicare can be contacted at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including some federal holidays.
You may want to talk to your patient and your patient's family about advanced directives including the following:
While the specific definition of “disability” for Social Security purposes is in the law itself, here is SSA’s plain language description:
“We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if, due to a medical or mental condition:
There are two key sources of government paid (income) benefits for people with disabilities: