Parkinson's UK and AbilityNet working together to help clients

Around 145,000 people have Parkinson's in the UK. 

Parkinson's UK charity has been doing lots of work to enable people with the condition to be better connected. It has got a five-year strategy. Part of this strategy is entitled "Better Support, Every Day". Digital Inclusion is an important part of this piece of work, and it is now an organisational priority for the charity.

Parkinson's UK and AbilityNet recently ran a joint webinar about How technology can help people with Parkinson's, as part of the launch of a new partnership between the two organisations, which will help to further support people with Parkinson's and their carers.

Learnings from the Parkinson's-focused webinar

Ana Palazon, Country Director for Wales, from Parkinson's UK presented the charity's five-year strategy as part of the webinar. Here, we provide a summary of learnings from the webinar, and highlight some of the Q&As from the webinar.

Watch the webinar recording (download a transcript):

Staying connected

But why has Parkinson's UK chosen to make "Better Support, Every Day" part of its five-year strategy? It realises, like many others, that it is so important for everyone to be connected, because to even do simple things you are often asked to do it "online." As we are emerging from a 2-year pandemic, many services have gone online. If you don't have access to technology, you can be at a real disadvantage.

If we look back to when the pandemic was at its worst we could only take one hour of exercise a day and it was difficult, if not impossible, to go and see relatives. But at least you could talk to them online to help keep in contact with them.

What would you do, though, if you didn't have access to a device? You would be very isolated. If you aren't in touch with people your mental health often suffers. 

Parkinson's online forum

Having a chronic condition like Parkinson's means it is vital to get peer support. It is very easy to think that you are the only one with the condition. Parkinson's UK has a great forum where people can share their experiences. However, as it is online, if you have the condition or are a carer for some with the condition and you don't currently have a connection to the internet, you are missing out on that peer support.

Parkinson's UK set up a digital working group and their number one aim was to help people get online. This is where AbilityNet and the partnership with our charity is particularly valuable. AbilityNet has 20 years of experience working with disabled and older people to help them get online and use technology.

Devices to help with Parkinson's

AbilityNet can suggest what devices are going to help someone with Parkinson's to get online and we can also chat about assistive technology such as mice, rollerballs, and keyboards, which can all help get make using a computer or device to be easier.

We also have a network of over 300 volunteers who can come out and help you learn the basics. They understand that sometimes you will be a bit unsure as to how to start to use the technology, but they are very patient and won't mind showing you how to do something several times.

If you want to refer a client to us, you can do so by using our referral form or if you would like help yourself, you can speak to one of our friendly team on 0800 048 7642.

Further resources 

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people. If you can afford it, please donate to help us support older and disabled people through technology