Virtual Resources Are a New Reality for the Parkinson’s Community

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by Lori DePorter |

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There have been abundant changes in the virtual realm over the last two years. It’s a new world with new realities that have altered and influenced many aspects of our lives — from how we communicate with each other to how we attend doctor appointments. And the Parkinson’s disease community has reaped the benefits.

Virtual platforms are connecting and educating people that may have been otherwise isolated. Many folks live alone, and virtual events have become lifelines for them. Virtual support groups have grown and will continue to grow, and friendships have formed. A person with Parkinson’s in Canada can find through an exchange on the internet that they have something in common with someone in Pennsylvania. It’s the connection of the people within the group that is important, where they live is irrelevant.

Virtual doctor appointments

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become a valuable option for doctor appointments. While a telemedicine appointment may not be optimal for initial evaluations, it can offer many benefits, such as providing Parkinson’s patients with access to a movement disorder specialist if there is not one available in their community.

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Telemedicine appointments are also a valuable tool for questions, for follow-up visits, and for those with accessibility limitations. And they can also be a more efficient use of a doctor’s time, allowing for additional time with other patients and the ability to reach more people.

Virtual events and other Parkinson’s resources

Many organizations sponsor different virtual events throughout the year.

Unlike in-person events, virtual events are not bound by geography or to a limited number of participants. In fact, virtual event participation has sometimes exceeded attendance at previous in-person events.

Virtual events can also save money by eliminating travel, venue expenses, and some of the other costs associated with hosting an in-person event. Following are three organizations that host virtual events for Parkinson’s patients:

A number of valuable resources also are available online. The Michael J. Fox Foundation hosts free live webinars once a month on its website that cover a broad range of topics. And both the Davis Phinney Foundation and the Parkinson’s Foundation provide online tools and resources. The latter foundation even offers a helpline at (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636) or [email protected] 

The virtual world will never replace the human touch. However, it can complement it. We have looked as a society for something good to have come out of this awful pandemic. Perhaps we have found it in the virtual world.

How has the virtual world influenced your life? Please share in the comments below.

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Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Comments

Pam Randles avatar

Pam Randles

I live in Alaska where it is snowy, particularly this year. So I can’t get outside as much as as I did last summer, so the exercise videos have been of particular use to me, as have nature videos!

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Lori DePorter avatar

Lori DePorter

Pam-Alaska is beautiful. I am glad to hear you do things outside when the weather cooperates. Do you do live classes? They are almost a built-in support group.

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