Cardiff and Vale University Health Board light it blue for Parkinson’s awareness

The 11th April is recognised each year as World Parkinson’s Day. To support the occasion and Parkinson’s UK’s ‘Light it Blue’ campaign, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are lighting the lake blue at the University Hospital of Wales.

A theme of this year’s World Parkinson’s Day is encouraging better living with Parkinson’s. On the Keeping Me Well website, healthcare professionals from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board provide self-management tips and therapy support to help people with Parkinson’s live better.

About Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is a neurological condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over the course of years. The charity Parkinson’s UK estimates that the number of people with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s in the UK is around 145,000, or one adult in every 350.

The main symptoms are a tremor, stiff muscles and slow movement. However, it can bring a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms. On the Keeping Me Well website clinicians suggest ways to manage the condition so people with Parkinson’s can live better.

Anxiety and complex emotions

Receiving a diagnosis of Parkinson’s can take time to understand and adjust to. Understandably, there are often many complex feelings associated with a new diagnosis.

Some people feel anxious and fearful about the future, some feel angry at themselves for not spotting the symptoms sooner and others may try to avoid or deny their symptoms and try to carry on as normal. Other people may feel relieved to have a diagnosis, or hopeful that treatment can help them feel better.

Talking to other people you trust can help to process complex emotions. Sometimes, people say they do not wish to burden family members or friends and would prefer to talk with someone neutral.

On the Keeping Me Well website Dr Ruth Lewis-Morton, a Clinical Psychologist with the Parkinson’s Service at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board explains how a Clinical Psychologist can support people to understand their emotions after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

Weight Loss

People with Parkinson’s disease can sometimes find that they lose weight unintentionally, due to poor appetite, increased energy expenditure, swallowing difficulties or difficulties with preparing meals. This can increase your risk of malnutrition and its associated risks.

On the Keeping Me Well website, Jamie a Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Dietitian provides tips for you to try if you find that you are losing weight and do not wish to, or if you have a poor appetite.

Speech and Swallowing

Some individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can experience changes in speech and swallowing as the condition develops over time. The individual’s speech may become muffled and difficult to understand, and it will require more effort to swallow fluid and food.

The Speech and Language Therapy Service can help if you notice these changes. You can email [email protected] or call 02920 743012.

Keeping Active

Exercise is a key component for managing Parkinson’s and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s Specialist Parkinson’s Team can offer advice and support for tailoring this for you, which is important even if your symptoms are very mild. One of the services we deliver is an early intervention Parkinson’s class.

Resources from Parkinson’s UK

The charity Parkinson’s UK has also produced helpful information about the following conditions experienced by people with Parkinson’s:

You can contact the Parkinson’s Specialist Team at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board for support when you need it on 02921 824342 or by email on [email protected]

People being supported to live healthy lives enabled by healthy and supportive environments is key to achieving the Health Board’s vision. Read more about the Health Board’s strategy for 2023-2035 at shapingourfuturewellbeing.com



Source – https://cavuhb.nhs.wales/news/latest-news/making-it-blue-for-parkinsons-awareness/

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