Insights into Parkinson’s

A Resthaven clients has written a book about his lived experience with Parkinson’s disease.

A client of aged care and reitrement living operator Resthaven has written a book about his lived experience with Parkinson’s disease so that people can have a greater understanding of the degenerative neurological condition.

Graham Edwards – a client of Resthaven Paradise and Eastern Community Services in South Australia – was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 15 years ago as he entered his seventies.

His book – Dance While You Can – contains “real insight” into what it’s like living with the disease. “Not just me,” said Mr Edwards, “but also my wife Barbara, who subsequently lives with it too.”

Tuesday 11 April marked World Parkinson’s Day. In Australia, 100,000 people are living with the disease. Each year, a further 14,000 people are diagnosed with the condition.

Categorised by both motor and non-motor deficiencies, there is no cure for Parkinson’s, only treatment.

The disease – the fastest-growing brain disease in the world – runs in the family, said Mr Edwards. “My father, grandfather and great-grandfather all lived with it, although we didn’t speak about it.”

Mr Edwards wrote the book so that others, including his loved ones, could learn more about the condition. “I wanted my family to have the information as well,” he said.

While life now has its limitations, Mr Edwards said everyday is a learning experience for him and Barbara. “We are always discovering new ways to live and to make things easier.”

He is supported by Resthaven Paradise and Eastern Community Services multiple times a week with transport services and social group visits tailored to clients living with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr Edwards said he wouldn’t be able to manage without this support or the help of his wife. “This is the thing – you cannot live with the disease without accepting the support around you. Ego has no place when you have Parkinson’s disease.”

Living with Parkinson’s has its challenges, said Mr Edwards, and he admits to having some bad days. “I get depressed and confused, but that is part of life. However, I have never been more peaceful than today, and the more I live, the more I discover how to live.”

Main image: Graham Edwards at his writing desk

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Tags: parkinsons-disease, resthaven paradise,

1 thought on “Insights into Parkinson’s

  1. Thank you Graham for sharing, your insight into life with Parkinson’s, your realism and your optimism. “The more I live, the more I discover how to live” is true wisdom.

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