MJFF ‘Parkinson’s Podcast’ Series on Navigating COVID-19 Begins Today

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by Mary Chapman |

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To help patients and their families cope with the global COVID-19 outbreak, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is launching a limited-series podcast.

The series begins today, May 6, and is part of MJFF’s ongoing Parkinson’s Podcast. It’s available every other Wednesday on michaeljfox.org/podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.

The podcasts offer information and advice about key facets of the pandemic that could be useful during this period when so many Parkinson’s (PD) patients, along with many others, are forced to stay indoors. Topics include:

  • Making the most of telemedicine appointments with a movement disorder specialist
  • Best practices for ongoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy planning
  • Tips for socially isolating when at-home care is needed
  • Ways to participate in Parkinson’s research from home
  • How mindfulness and physical exercise can help ward off depression and feelings of isolation

“Whether you are 37 or 73, living through a pandemic of this scale is new for all of us, and navigating the Parkinson’s journey adds another layer of challenge. Our Foundation is committed to helping people with Parkinson’s live their best lives with the disease through a wide range of engagement opportunities,” Rachel Dolhun, MD, MJFF vice president of medical communications and a board-certified movement disorder specialist neurologist, said in a press release.

“Connecting with the worldwide PD community through a limited series podcast allows us to provide credible, accurate, and up-to-date information while offering advice, insight, and hope,” Dolhun added.

Each podcast will feature Dolhun and an expert guest, and will be hosted by MJFF Patient Council member Larry Gifford, who was diagnosed at 45. Gifford currently hosts the Curiouscast podcast “When Life Gives You Parkinson’s,” and is the national director of talk radio for Corus Entertainment in Canada.

“I’m honored to be a part of this important project,” Gifford said. “Parkinson’s is already a very lonely disease. Add self-isolation and social distancing to it and it’s a recipe for feeling disconnected, anxious, and depressed.

“The podcast is an accessible and intimate way to help bring our community together, ask and answer questions, sort fact from fiction and provide the important information they need to remain healthy and active during this time,” he said.

The nonprofit organization recently announced its new online information and resource hub, aimed at helping those living with Parkinson’s manage the pandemic while staying at home.

This dedicated site includes webinarspodcasts, online educational events, insights and tips regarding Parkinson’s and the coronavirus, and a virtual events hub to see how the community is staying connected.

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