Parkinson’s Resource Box will help put staff in patient’s shoes

A Parkinson’s Resource Box will be provided for every inpatient ward in Hywel Dda Health Board and community pharmacies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will also be marking Parkinson’s Awareness Week (15-19 April).
The resources boxes, created by the board’s four Parkinson’s Specialist Nurses, are designed to support general ward staff to better understand the condition.
They include information about medication and the support services that are available for patients.
And they are being distributed across all in-patient wards in Amman Valley, Bronglais, Cardigan, Glangwili, Llandovery, Mynydd Mawr, Prince Philip, South Pembrokeshire, Tenby and Withybush Hospitals.
The 99 community pharmacies based across the three counties will also support the campaign by distributing local information leaflets and talking to patients about the importance of taking medication on time. Information stands will also be available between 10.30am and 2.30pm as follows;
  • Wednesday April 17, Boots Haverfordwest 
  • Thursday April 18, Asda, Llanelli 
  • Friday April 19, Morrisons, Llanbadarn, Aberystwyth 
Parkinson’s Awareness Week is an annual health awareness campaign organised by the charity Parkinson’s UK.
It aims to change public attitudes to the degenerative neurological condition, the main symptoms of which are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.
One person in every 500 has Parkinson's, which is about 127,000 people in the UK. Most people who get Parkinson's are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too, with one in 20 diagnosed under the age of 40.
The theme of this year’s campaign urges people to put themselves in the shoes of people with Parkinson’s, by arming themselves with basic information about what it is like to live with the condition.
Specialist nurses Laura Edwards, for Carmarthen; Bethan Lewis-Price, Ceredigion; Gill Forwood, Llanelli; and Emma Williams, Pembrokeshire; said: “We wanted to use Parkinson’s Awareness Week to help raise the profile and understanding of Parkinson’s within the Health Board itself. Hopefully the Rescue Boxes will provide useful information for healthcare professionals and encourage them to put themselves into the shoes of a Parkinson’s patient.
“A key message is that to keep Parkinson’s control at its best, medication should be taken on time, every time. Medication times are unique to each individual and often do not correspond to routine drug rounds, so this information can really make a difference.”
Parkinson’s is a long-term health condition. Hywel Dda Health Board has made 10 healthcare pledges to the public, including in five years time it will ensure, wherever possible, that no one with a known long-term condition is admitted unexpectedly to hospital with that condition. It aims to improve access to rehabilitation services for people with long term neurological conditions and improve joint-working across health, social care and third sector agencies.
If you would like more information about Parkinson’s, please visit You can contact the Parkinson’s UK Helpline on 0808 800 0303.
The site includes information about many local events being held for Parkinson’s Awareness Week, including:
  • Saturday 13th April, 11am start, sponsored walk along Millennium Coastal Path, with the Llanelli Branch of Parkinson’s UK. Starting at the Visitor Centre. 
  • Monday 15th April, street collection in Llandysul, around the doctor’s surgeries, supermarket and post office. 
  • Tuesday 16th April, 9am-5pm, Put Yourself in My Shoes information stand at the Leisure Centre, Newcastle Emlyn. 
  • Thursday 18th April, 8am-12pm, coffee morning at Tabernacle Chapel, Pendre, Cardigan, and around the main street. 
  • Saturday 20th April, static bike event in Aberaeron 

Top five tips – how you can help
Parkinson’s UK asked people with Parkinson’s to name the top five ways they would ask people to help them.
1. Please be patient
It takes me longer to do things. Give me time – I’ll get there.
2. Understand communicating can be difficult
If I don’t smile, I’m not being unfriendly – I just can’t move my face. Talking isn’t always easy, but if you listen carefully you’ll hear me.
3. Please don’t stare or make assumptions
It’s upsetting if you stare or think the worst. If Parkinson’s makes me unsteady, please don’t assume I’m drunk. If I’m not working it’s
because I can’t. There is currently no cure and my symptoms will get worse.
4. Please ask if you can help
I can tell you if I need your help. It might take me a while to speak, so please be patient. Don’t try and move me if I freeze, I could fall over.
5. Take a little time to learn more about Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s affects all kinds of people. Many are raising families, working or volunteering in spite of the obstacles they face. A little understanding would make life a lot easier.

Picture above - Hywel Dda Health Board Parkinson's nurses pictured with their Resource Boxes, from left to right; Bethan Lewis-Price (Ceredigion); Laura Edwards (Carmarthen); Gill Forwood (Llanelli); and Emma Williams (Pembrokeshire).


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