Parkinson’s support group is a way to find help and encouragement
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017, MaryAnn Stockton, dedicated facilitator of the Parkinson’s Support Group in Utica, knows firsthand the daunting challenges the participants face. She makes it her mission to spread awareness of the symptoms and effects of Parkinson’s, as well as provide support for those dealing with the condition.
The empathetic leader brings to her volunteer position her decades-long experience working at Family Place Resource Center in downtown Utica.
She explains, “When members are experiencing a hard time coping with their physical limitations, I understand their fight, their frustrations. The meetings allow members to relate to one another and let them speak for themselves, even if it means patiently waiting to hear from those struggling to express their thoughts.”
The Support Group meets from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on the third Thursday in the Parkway Center, 220 Memorial Parkway, Utica. The program, sponsored free of charge by the center, begins with an initial welcome and check-in. Caregivers then break out into separate groups to discuss their concerns.
Looking to the future, Stockton’s plans include introducing activities that promote movement, as well as art therapy to “foster lightness and a cheerful attitude.” She adds, “Parkinson’s affects people in different ways, and our goal is to validate the uniqueness of each member.”
For information or to register, call 315-223-3973.
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