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April Is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

2014 March 31

JulieSacks-headshot_mediumBy Julie Sacks, LCSW, director, APDA National Young Onset Center

Every year, an estimated 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Approximately 15 percent are considered to have young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD). Although the medical definition of YOPD is diagnosis under the age of 40, the majority of people diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 60 consider themselves to be young onset as well. In fact, the APDA National Young Onset Center was developed in order to provide this young Parkinson’s community with education, support and resources specific to their needs.

Parkinson’s Disease In Your 40s And 50s

Younger people with PD not only live with the disease for a longer period of time than those diagnosed later in life, in most cases they are still employed at the time of diagnosis. Often, they want to continue working for as long as possible.

The length of time one is able to continue working varies and depends upon a number of factors including: the type of work one does, the mental and physical demands of the job, and the severity of symptoms experienced throughout the day.

Some of the more well-known motor symptoms of the disease, such as tremor, stiffness and rigidity, can be challenging. But it is often the less well-known non-motor symptoms that present the greatest challenges in the workplace. These can include fatigue, depression, facial masking, as well as soft, slowed speech and difficulty multi-tasking.

Prepare Yourself And Your Family

One of the best ways to prepare yourself and your family for the future is to initiate a relationship with Allsup long before you are ready to pursue Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Allsup is a disability representation company, one with an excellent record of achieving SSDI benefits for its clients. It also is a company that offers tremendous resources for personal financial planning and counsel on managing finances before, during, and after receiving SSDI benefits through its Disability Life Planning Service.  

Keep in mind that the American Parkinson Disease Association and the APDA National Young Onset Center provides information and resources as well, on SSDI and many other PD-related topics.

Our mission is “To Ease the Burden” through education and support services and “To Find the Cure” by funding some of the nation’s most promising scientific researchers. This month, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month, helps us make others aware of our mission and increases awareness of PD and YOPD.

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