Making connections closer to home

Community Development Coordinators
Community Development Coordinators

Are you a caregiver and need someone to listen to you for a few minutes or connect you with respite care services? Would you welcome the chance to meet with others like you living with Parkinson’s? Are you looking for a Parkinson’s exercise class in your community?

Whether it’s helping you to navigate what you need within the healthcare system or connecting you with education, support and comradery within your community, Parkinson Canada is growing to serve you better.

Across Canada, community-based individuals, called Community Development Coordinators, work with individuals like you in your community to connect you to Parkinson support groups, education sessions and local services. In speaking with you, they may be able to determine the availability of existing services and assist in defining gaps. They also build relationships with local members of provincial legislatures  and municipal representatives to advocate for issues important in your local Parkinson community. Most importantly, they build a local volunteer, service and funding network, with you at the centre. No two communities are the same, so the kinds of programs and services will vary.  What we know for sure is that as the population grows and ages, there is always a need.

Recently, Parkinson Canada received a grant for $637,300.00 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to fund the expansion of our service delivery in the province by adding three new community development positions for the next three years: Margaux Wolfe, based in Ottawa will serve Eastern Ontario; Marielle Henderson, based in Thunder Bay will serve North West Ontario; and Paul Scibetta, based in Brantford, will serve Southwestern Ontario. We have received many requests from individuals and families in these areas, and now, with the new staff, you have additional community resources who can help you live well with Parkinson’s.

As many as 40,000 Ontarians live with Parkinson’s. This initiative aims to alleviate social isolation and create connections for more than 1,200 people. Even in mid-size communities, ranging from 20,000 to 100,000, access to Parkinson’s programs and services may be difficult. By linking individuals with appropriate programs and services, the daily challenges of Parkinson’s can be better managed. Now, there is help and hope closer to home.

Across the country, staff and volunteers, serve communities in a similar fashion. If you, or someone you know, are looking for answers or support, connect with Parkinson Canada. We encourage you to reach out and make a connection.

A great place to start is www.parkinson.ca. Use the map to “Find help near you.” You’ll find contact information for local offices, events and activities, including support group meetings, educational conferences and exercise classes. Also, you can find a wealth of fact sheets and other resources. If you have a bit more time, why not watch webinars and listen to podcasts, available any time you need them; simply access the website at a time convenient to you.

If you prefer to speak to someone, call our Information and Referral Centre at 1-800-565-3000. And if you are asked to leave a message, please do so.  Our trained and compassionate associates will respond to you as quickly as possible.

comments