Parkinson Alberta Society PD Helpline Connects Albertans with Parkinson Disease to Rapid Professional Help

CALGARY, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Parkinson Alberta Society (PAS) today announced the province-wide launch of its PD Helpline to connect Albertans living with Parkinson disease (PD) and their caregivers to the information, support, and expertise needed. Health care professionals looking after individuals with PD across the Province will also be able to utilize this resource to obtain information about management of PD. Focused efforts are underway to help Albertans learn about the services and resources available through the PD Helpline.

"This is much needed service for people living with PD in Alberta as well as their caregivers," states Dr. Oksana Suchowersky, Professor of Neurology and Medical Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, and Medical Director of the Parkinson Alberta PD Helpline. "In addition, health care providers in the province will have an easily accessible resource to give them information on PD, and where to refer PD patients for psychosocial support."

Parkinson disease is a progressive brain disease that affects one in every 300 adults. And it does not discriminate. Often only associated with aging, it strikes people as young as 30 or 40, affecting their families and careers. Over time, individuals may experience a decreased capacity to walk, talk, and swallow. There is no known cause or cure. Over 8,000 Albertans live with this progressive disease.

"As the only charitable organization in Alberta providing support and education for people with PD, it is imperative that we reach people to let them know this help is available to them," says John Petryshen, CEO of Parkinson Alberta. "So many Albertans simply are not able to access the help they need on a daily basis to manage PD. Parkinson Alberta Society developed the PD Helpline specifically to be a main source of information for people with Parkinson disease in Alberta, their caregivers, and family members."

The PD Helpline is a free and confidential connection to the specialized help needed to manage and live with Parkinson disease. By use of a province-wide toll-free phone number, 1-877-243-9992, PD Helpline Specialists offer a quick and personal response service to improve access to medical information and supports for everyday living.

A new addition to the PD Helpline is an extension of the service to health care professionals — the Helpline can now act as a PD resource when questions about management arise. A network of PD medical experts in neurology, physiotherapy, social work, nursing, and surgery, is available as a resource to health care professionals across the Province of Alberta.

About Parkinson Alberta Society
Parkinson Alberta Society (PAS), in partnership with Parkinson Society Canada (PSC), is the only Alberta charitable organization dedicated to education, support, research, and advocacy on behalf of over 8,000 Albertans living with Parkinson disease. PAS is a new provincial organization (Est. 2011), created as a result of a merger between Parkinson Society of Southern Alberta (PSSA Est. 1981) and the Parkinson's Society of Alberta (PSA Est. 1973), to broaden and strengthen Alberta's capacity to deliver support and services.

Image with caption: "PD Helpline Logo (CNW Group/Parkinson Alberta Society)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120207_C2221_PHOTO_EN_9792.jpg

SOURCE Parkinson Alberta Society

For further information:

Media contact:
For additional information about the Parkinson Alberta PD Helpline or to arrange an interview:
Glenda Blissett
Director of Communication
Parkinson Alberta Society
T: 403-243-9901 x230
E: gblissett@parkinsonalberta.ca

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Parkinson Alberta Society

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