April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, which provides a critically important reminder that each year 60,000 people are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and more than one million Americans are currently living with the neurodegenerative disease. That’s why the non-profit Parkinson’s Foundation is working to make life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. Studies show that three out of four people with Parkinson’s do not receive medications on time when staying in the hospital and that when this occurs two out of three will experience unnecessary complications. In response to this problem, the Parkinson’s Foundation has created the Aware in Care kit to help 1/3 of people with Parkinson’s receive hospital care each year. The Aware in Care kit helps those affected by PD to be “aware in care”, which means they understand hospitalization risks, have the tools to play an active role in their care, are prepared for planned or unplanned hospital visits, and ultimately have a plan to get the best possible care while in the hospital.
We kick off Parkinson’s Awareness Month with two top experts who can share important information about the kits and the search for a cure. Leslie Ledee-Lozada, PhD., is a Speech Pathologist involved in outreach in Puerto Rico and serves as an Aware in Care ambassador for the Foundation. Adolfo Diaz, BSBA, PTA., developed, launched, and oversees the Parkinson’s Foundation free Helpline, a contact center that handles approximately 20,000 cases a year. The Helpline provides people living with Parkinson's disease with accurate and up-to-date information, resources, and referrals to care and support services in their community. The goal of the Parkinson’s Foundation is to help people live better with Parkinson’s and for Parkinson’s Awareness Month, they want everyone to be empowered to #KnowMorePD so that one day there is no more PD.