World Parkinson’s Day 2023

Today, we mark World Parkinson’s Day to raise awareness of a condition that has touched almost everyone involved in PROCare4Life.

As a project aiming to improve quality of life for older people with neurodegenerative conditions, Parkinson’s Disease is central to PROCare4Life’s works. Many of partners specialise in Parkinson’s care, and many of our pilot participants live with the condition.

We would like to tell you a little bit about Parkinson’s Disease, and how our partners have marked the day in their regions.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease a neurodegenerative condition affecting the brain, which most visibly presents as issues with speech and motor control. This can include slow or involuntary movement, issues with balance and fine motor control, and cognitive impairments. It is more common in older people, can lead to disabilities as it progresses, and many people with Parkinson’s will also develop dementia.

Parkinson’s Disease can profoundly change a person’s life, but there are many treatments and interventions that can support them, including medication, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and other types of support. Like many conditions, Parkinson’s Disease does not just affect the person with it, but also their family, friends and support network who will often become informal caregivers.

What is PROCare4Life?

In our project, we understand the difficulties presented by a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the journey that someone will have to go on. From medications and doctor’s appointments to daily activity to keeping close family informed, that care journey can be difficult and hard to manage.

Our project has spent the last few years investigating this issue and looking at how technological supports can be uses to help people on their care journey. Our technological solution uses a smartphone app and other smart devices to help someone with a neurodegenerative condition to easily track their activity levels, medication, and other measurements and share this with their care team and informal carers. As we approach the end of our project, we are preparing to share our final results and contribute to better Parkinson’s Disease care all over Europe.

To better explain what it is like to live with neurodegenerative condition and how PROCare4Life can help, we created Maria, an animated avatar who is representative of many of the people who have taken part in our pilots across Europe. Maria is a retired teacher and a widow who is experiencing cognitive issues. Our animations follow her on her journey from the initial symptoms through to using PROCare4Life to manage her care and live the best quality life she can. Meet Maria here.

How is the PROCare4Life community marking World Parkinson’s Day?

Across our partners and pilot sites, we are all marking World Parkinson’s Day in different ways.

On April 11th, Asociación Parkinson Madrid held an event at Casa Encedida in Madrid to discuss new treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. They invited two experts from Hospital Universitario de la Princesa and the Hospital 12 de Octubre to discuss these treatments, which was streamed online.

You can watch a recording of the event here.

And on 12 April, in Pozuelo de Alarcón, a municipality in Madrid where we are also based, a neurologist from the Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid will speak about the disease and cognitive impairment.

Both events were organised with patients, carers, social, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders in mind. You can find more info here:  

In Milan, our partners at Casa di Cura IGEA held an event at the Moriggia Pelascini Hospital of Gravedona (CCI Rehab scenario) organized an event open to the public and aimed at patients and caregivers, with the aim of increasing awareness on Parkinson’s Disease. The multidisciplinary team offered an insight into their role in the rehabilitation process, including the different roles of the neurologist, physiotherapist, psychologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and the importance of nutrition in the treatment of the Parkinson’s Disease.