While the average age of onset of PD is estimated at 60 years of age, between 5-10% of Parkinson’s patients contract “Young Onset” Parkinson’s disease (between the ages of 20 and 50).
The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the only Parkinson’s association in the U.S. with a Center dedicated to meeting the needs of those with young onset Parkinson’s disease.
The Theracycle Blog went to Julie Sacks, LCSW — Director, APDA National Young Onset Center in Winfield, IL (USA) for her advice and insights for the YOPD population:
Julie shares this comment:
“Discovering that you have Parkinson’s disease, especially when you are young, is overwhelming. Even if you’ve suspected it for some time (and it’s a relief to finally know what you’re dealing with) a confirmed diagnosis is still a shock and many people don’t know where to turn for support.”
In addition to educating people about the disease itself, the APDA National Young Onset Center ( http://www.youngparkinsons.org) has an online Resource Guide that consists of low-cost or no-cost programs and services available to help people manage other areas of concern such as: healthcare, mental health, insurance, employment, disability and finances. It is easily accessible online at www.youngparkinsons.org/resource-guide.
This Resource Guide was created in order to direct people with Parkinson’s to reliable, affordable services. It was also designed to be interactive, so don’t hesitate to share your experience(s) with currently listed resources or recommend new ones. The more involved the community is in growing the Resource Guide the more helpful it will be.
Julie let us know that members of the Center’s staff are also available Monday – Friday (9am-5pm CST) to discuss resources by phone at 877- 223-3801.
Beyond its informative website and Resource Guide, YoungParkinsons.org also maintains the excellent Young Parkinson’s Blog and publishes a free monthly eNewsletter.
Dedicated since 1961 to “ease the burden and find a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” the APDA is a major leader in research/education/public education and support for patients and families with PD. The Theracycle Team highly commends the APDA and its National Young Onset Center for their good works, and recommends their helpful resources and tools.