Toolkit: Speakers & Topics
Support Group Leader's Toolkit
Speakers & Topics
Whether you are a member of a support group or a support group leader, whether you have been involved in a group for a short or extended period of time, helping your group develop an agenda that promotes ongoing learning and sharing a wide range of subjects can keep a strong group thriving and infuse a group that may be faltering with renewed energy.
Most people with PD work with an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. The following are a sample of the kinds of professional speakers and topics your group may want to consider inviting to speak with your group:
Neurologist/Movement Disorders Specialist
- New treatments (medications, surgical intervention)
- Research update
- PD medications
- Nutrition, vitamins, and minerals we need as we age; "wellness"
- The importance of fluids and fiber in our diet
- PD medications and their potential interaction with food (proteins)
- Vision changes with PD
- Speech and/or swallowing problems
- Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)/LOUD
- Safety in the home (i.e., kitchen, bathroom)
- Fall prevention (how to fall, how to get up from a fall, etc.)
- Vacationing with PD & travel tips
Nurse (from a physician's office)
- "How to talk to your doctor" tips for office visits
- Incontinence and bladder problems
- Difficulties PD patients can encounter when in the hospital
- "Move it or lose it" and demonstration of exercises to be done at home
Social Worker, Psychologist, Psychiatrist
- Coping with the diagnosis
- Adaptation/life changes
- Family dynamics associated with chronic illness
- Depression (what to watch for, how to overcome it)
- Caregiving stress
- Transitioning from full- to part-time work
- Analyzing your transferable skills and new/different job possibilities
- Oral problems related to PD
Lawyer (disability/elder care attorney)
- Understanding legal jargon - living wills, power of attorney, etc.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application process and other types of other assistance
OTHER TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
- Planning for the future
- Driving (To drive or not to drive? When do I give up my keys?)
- Long-Term care (assisted living, nursing home)
For additional information/ideas re: topics or speakers, please contact the APDA National Young Onset Center at 877.223.3801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted and printed, with permission, from APDA Arkansas Information & Referral Center, Lydia Stevens, RN, Coordinator.