Parkinsons New Zealand provides information, education and support to people with Parkinsons, their families, friends as well as health professionals.
Founded in 1983, The Parkinsonism Society of New Zealand is a community based, non-profit organisation. There are 18 Regional Divisions supported by a National Office in Wellington.
The organisation believes that people with Parkinsons Disease have the right to:
- Be referred to a doctor with a specialist interest in Parkinsons,
- Receive an accurate diagnosis,
- Have access to support services,
- Receive continuous care, and
- Take part in managing the illness.
Younger people with Parkinsons can face particular challenges, such as
- Ensuring that there is support for the whole family, including children and teenagers
- Getting help and information about work
- Concerns about money.
What does it do?
They offer members:
- Information on Parkinsons
- Regular up-to-date information through the national magazine
- Responsible reporting of recent research and international experiences
- Books and audio-visual material
- Local meetings and education programmes
- Activities such as exercise classes and speech therapy
- Advice on health and welfare assistance available
- Home visits from a Field Officer.
In addition, they can provide information and educational services to non-members. e.g. health professionals and the general public.
They work closely with other neurological organisations and, in some remote areas, Field Officer services are supplied by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The society’s numerous divisions throughout the country employ professional Field Officers who visit people with Parkinsons in their homes, provide information and advice, as well as run support groups and exercise classes.
The Field Officer service can:
- Provide home visits to re-assure, motivate and advise people with Parkinsons, and others associated with them.
- Act as advocates for health services.
- Monitor medication management and help note any beneficial or adverse affects.
- Monitor progress of the condition and advise on ways to cope better.
- Link members for mutual support.
- Intervene to ease crisis situations.
- Empower members to regain social confidence.
- Refer to other agencies. e.g. for assessment for home support, and counselling to relieve stress.
- Organise educational courses.
- Assist social and support groups.
- Liaise with other community agencies to avoid duplication of services.
As well as general support groups, they have a special support group for people with young onset Parkinson’s (those diagnosed under the age of 60) called UPBEAT. The group has meetings throughout the country and a quarterly newsletter.
How is it funded?
Parkinsons New Zealand is a not-for- profit organisation which raises funds through trusts, donations, levies and general fundraising initiatives.
How can I get their help?
Contact their National Office on 0800 473 463 or visit www.parkinsons.org.nz for local contact phone numbers.
How much does it cost?
Individual divisions charge membership fees, ranging from $20-$35 per annum.
Link to the Parkinsons NZ Website
This comprehensive site provides considerable information about Parkinsonism and the latest news and research. There are sections for young onset Parkinsons, health professionals, and families and carers. There are details about what’s on offer in various areas around the country and also a shop for relevant resources and products.