Taking a trip

Careful planning can make travel away from home easier. Try the following suggestions to minimize problems and enhance the quality of your time away.

• Never leave the house without a day’s supply of medication
• Keep a few extra tablets in a labeled container in the glove compartment of the car.
• Use a small shoulder bag or fanny pack and keep it stocked at all times with crackers or cookies and a mini-juice carton so you can take your medication. Take this bag with you even if you think you may be out for only a short time.
• Carry a card in your wallet listing the medications you are taking.
• If you are driving, plan frequent stops for exercise and rest.

<strong>When traveling by plane</strong>

• Take advantage of early boarding privileges.
• Check in early and request an aisle seat close to the washrooms if mobility is a problem.
• Even if you don’t normally require assistance to walk, you may want to consider using a wheelchair or an electric cart in the airport. It may be easier for your escort to push you rather than carry hand luggage and help you to walk at the same time.
• During flights where a time change is involved, take medications, as needed, keeping to the same number of hours between doses.
• If necessary, adjust medications to ensure mobility at the beginning and end of the flight.
• Take all your medication for your entire trip in your hand baggage. Checked baggage lost enroute or flight delays may leave you without enough medication.
• Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
• Use a small soft neck pillow to increase your comfort on a long trip.
• Try to rest both the day before you leave and the day after you arrive.
• Drink extra fluids the day before and after you travel. This will allow you to drink less on the travel day and reduce visits to the washroom.
• When travelling for extended periods of time ask your physician if he/she can recommend a neurologist in the place you are visiting, in case you need to see a doctor quickly.
• When travelling out of the country, make sure you have enough medical insurance coverage.

*An excerpt taken from <em>A Manual for People Living with Parkinson’s Disease, Parkinson Society Canada, 2003</em>. To request a copy (free of charge), contact <a href=”mailto:general.info@parkinson.ca”>general.info@parkinson.ca</a>.

<strong>This site also offers useful information and travel tips:</strong>

<a href=”http://www.cta-otc.gc.ca/themes.php?aid=2〈=eng” target=”_blank”>• Persons with Disabilities – Canadian Transportation Agency</a>

<a href=”http://www.viarail.ca/planificateur/en_plan_beso_acco.html” target=”_blank”></a>

Research Committee news

We would like to extend a thank you to outgoing committee chairs, Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine who served as Chair of the Research Policy Committee and to Dr. Jon Stoessl, who served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Their dedication and commitment to the Parkinson’s community has been invaluable.

We welcome Dr. Edward Fon as new Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board and Dr. Pierre Blanchet, as Chair of the Research Policy Committee.

Dr. Edward Fon, incoming Chair Scientific, PSC Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Edward Fon, incoming Chair Scientific, PSC Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Fon is a neurologist-scientist and director of the McGill University Parkinson Program. His research, based at the Montreal Neurological Institute, focuses on the function and dysfunction of Parkinson’s disease.

Pierre Blanchet, incoming PSC Research Policy Committee
Dr. Pierre Blanchet, incoming PSC Research Policy Committee

Dr. Blanchet is an associate professor in the Department of Stomatology of the Faculty of Dentistry at the Université de Montréal. He directs the experimental Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory at the university’s Movement Disorders Clinic.

SuperWalk 2009

Maxine Thistle, St. John’s wins the Early Bird SuperWalk prize
Maxine Thistle, St. John’s wins the Early Bird SuperWalk prize

SuperWalk 2009 announces its first Early Bird Winner!

Congratulations to Maxine Thistle of St. John’s Newfoundland, SuperWalk’s first Early Bird winner. Maxine receives a $500 gift certificate to Chapters/Indigo and is eager to start spending.

After her best friend was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 16 years ago, Maxine began to volunteer for Parkinson Society Newfoundland & Labrador and has been heavily involved ever since. As an organizing member of the first SuperWalk in St. John’s, a former chair of their Board for five years and a current member of the Education and Support Committee, Maxine knows the importance of the monies raised by SuperWalk. She is especially concerned about the ongoing need for support, not just for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but for their family and friends as well. That is why she walks.

“We need to concentrate on providing support because everyone affected by Parkinson’s needs it,” says Maxine. “Even if we found a cure tomorrow it is so important that we make sure people are equipped to cope with the disease in their daily lives.”

Maxine remains hopeful that her efforts to effect change, along with those of so many other volunteers, are truly making a difference.

“There are a lot of challenges that arise when you have Parkinson’s. It’s not a pretty disease,” says Maxine. “The biggest challenge is to stay positive. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. The question is, just when are we going to find a cure?”

Armed with this hope, there is no doubt in Maxine’s mind that walkers in over 80 communities across Canada will reach this year’s SuperWalk fundraising goal of $2.4 million.