Currently, there are over 30 Parkinson's Community Educators spread across New Zealand, providing free education, information, and clinical referrals.
What does a Community Educator do?
Parkinson's Community Educators work on providing professional support to people living with Parkinson’s.
To do so, educators develop high-quality medical plans while also providing in-depth information about Parkinson's.
To help families further, Parkinson's Community Educators will connect people with Parkinson’s to speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.
Parkinson's NZ also runs networking support groups and exercise classes. We also offer physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, as well as art/music therapy sessions to members.
Meet A Community Educator Near You
If you’d like to contact our charity and meet a Community Educator to discuss your options with Parkinson's, then give us a call on 04 801 8850 today!
To find out who to contact and what services are available in your area, head over to our Regional Support.
Parkinson's Community Educator Services
Community Educators help people with Parkinson's make informed decisions about living with the condition. Parkinson's Community Educators can provide the following services for free:
Parkinson's Home visits
Home visits are an opportunity to receive personalised advice and thorough assessments. Our Community Educators work with the person with Parkinson’s, their family, and carers to provide information and develop a high-quality medical plan that upholds their lifestyle and health.
Parkinson's Support groups
Community Educators can let you know when Parkinson's New Zealand organises support group meetings for members with similar experiences. Support groups range from groups for people with Parkinson’s, carers, or people with Early Onset Parkinson’s. These groups come together to share coping strategies and are a chance to establish social networks. With acclaimed medical speakers attending frequently, you may receive a lot of highly relevant information about the Parkinsonism conditions.
Your Community Educator can give advice about health professionals who work with people with Parkinson’s in the community, as appropriate. For example, occupational therapists (who can arrange assistance items like handrails or bath seats and can also help you learn new ways to do things), physiotherapists, and speech-language therapists.
Advice on monitoring of medication is a crucial component of the service provided by Parkinson's Community Educators. Medication schedules are unique to each individual with Parkinson’s, and your Community Educator can help with information about managing medication side effects, "hot and cool" periods, and sleep disturbance problems.
General Mobility Advice
If you need advice on how to arrange mobility vouchers, parking permits, home help, and other general assistance, your Community Educator can help you with all of the information you may need to make an application for the mobility item you need.
Need someone to work beside you or speak on your behalf? Our Community Educators can assist with conversations with hospitals, specialists, and employers about the Parkinsonism condition and what can be expected as time progresses.
Social activities provide a sense of togetherness and give people with Parkinson's an opportunity to meet, talk, and support each other. Your Community Educator will be able to tell you about the social outings held in your immediate area.
Exercise and other therapies
Your Community Educator can let you know what programmes are available for people with Parkinson’s in your surrounding areas. Activities may include physiotherapy, circuit training exercises, hydrotherapy, and art/music therapy sessions. Research has shown that all of these activities, particularly exercise, is a vital component for the overall management of Parkinson’s.
Many of Parkinson’s New Zealand’s branches and divisions organise high-quality educational seminars. Education seminars provide easy access to a variety of speakers, including acclaimed neurologists, Parkinson’s researchers, pharmacists, and other professionals from the healthcare community. Your Community Educator can advise you about any seminars that may be occurring in your area, including those presented by other organisations that may be relevant.
Facilitate Family/Whānau Meetings
Community Educators are available to meet with family/whanau to discuss how they can best support their family members. They can provide information about Parkinson’s to give family/whanau a better understanding of the condition. They can also provide information about respite care, both day programmes and short term care, available in your area.
Care to Show Your Support?
Parkinson's New Zealand is a non-profit charitable organisation, so we depend on the generosity and empathy of Kiwis!
If you’d like to show your support to the service we provide to people with Parkinson’s, then please visit our donation page.
If you’d like to contact our charity and avail of these free services, please call us on 04 801 8850.