“This is part of our on-going series of exploring neurological and degenerative conditions that can affect a number of individuals and specifically how Physical Therapy can help”
Today’s Topic: Recovery Support Groups
In life we are faced with some unexpected challenges whether due to an injury, accident or a diagnosis that can affect our daily activities and functional mobility. The great thing about Physical Therapy is that it can help many individuals gain their function, mobility and many times return to their normal activities. However, there can sometimes be a missing link between physical and emotional recovery or coping skills with individuals who may be faced with a chronic condition like Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis and/or living with a permanent change as seen with deficits resulting from a Stroke or spinal cord injury.
The missing link is sometimes found by connecting with other people who have or are walking in your same shoes. Whether you are able to connect with a support or recover group or just an individual this connection can be vital to one’s journey both emotionally and physically.
A support group whether for Parkinson’s, MS, Stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc… can be a great way to meet people with similar struggles and successes. It is a fabulous way to network for care, Doctors, treatments, programs that have worked for some people. Many groups are run through a wellness consortium, a national organization, though one’s local county health services or local hospital group. Generally, groups meet once a month and a different topic is discussed every month and usually associated with a speaker. The format of each group can differ but the bottom line is that these groups are a source of information and knowledge. These groups are also for a caregiver or spouse because this person is also experiencing the condition or life altering event. They are affected too both emotionally and physically and it is very important to address the needs of the caregiver.
My experience is that it is best to search out these groups, using google is a great resource, contacting your local county health agency, looking at the newspaper as group meetings are frequently listed and looking at National organizations that have support group links.
You have nothing to loose but a lot to gain if you are comfortable and able to seek out one of these organizations or groups. Knowledge is power and as a Physical Therapist I am advocate for these groups and encourage my clients to attend.
Stayed tuned for next weeks topic of looking at how Physical therapy can help individuals with Parkinson’s.