PARKINSON'S PATRONS: Co-patron Jenny Dowell OAM, State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin and Lismore Regional Parkinson's Support Group convenor Di Lymbury.
PARKINSON'S PATRONS: Co-patron Jenny Dowell OAM, State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin and Lismore Regional Parkinson's Support Group convenor Di Lymbury. Contributed

OPINION: Proud patron of Parkinson's Support Group

I WAS proud to accept an invitation to be patron of the Lismore Regional Parkinson's Support Group, which meets monthly at the Lismore Workers Club.

Convenor Di Lymbury said the group supported local people with Parkinson's and their carers and shared strategies for living well, always respecting confidentiality.

Di, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's in her early 50s, resurrected the support group about five years ago when she moved here from the Hunter Valley.

Members live in Lismore, Kyogle, Nimbin, Bangalow, Coraki and Evans Head.

Di says her diagnosis came as a relief because the mathematics teacher blamed her symptoms on the stress of the school classroom.

She says her GP prescribed Parkinson's medication and she felt better almost immediately. Now aged 66, Di practises tai chi and swims to better control her symptoms.

Di says the role of regular exercise in living well with Parkinson's is increasingly identified as essential, as is a healthy diet with emphasis on promoting a healthy gut with good gut bacteria.

I know that a couple of local specialist doctors are very good at treating patients with Parkinson's but neurologists are located further afield.

Our region needs a specialist trained Parkinson's nurse and I will advocate for a position, just as I did for McGrath Foundation nurses when I was Federal Member for Page.

The Lismore Regional Parkinson's Support Group alternates between a monthly meeting with a guest speaker and a more social monthly coffee catch-up.

For more information contact Di Lymbury on 0266 227 959 or Mary Burke on 0266 286 948, find them on Facebook or go to www.moveit4parkinsons.com.au.

Parkinson's NSW offers a helpful range of expert advice and resources at www.parkinsonsnsw.org.au.


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