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Job opportunity – Become our new Caregiver Advisor

Information about the organization

Parkinson Montreal-Laval (PML) is a charitable organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of people living with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones by offering support, information and training services.

Position Summary

The caregiver advisor for people living with Parkinson’s disease will be the resource person for this target clientele within the organization. The person will offer guidance, psycho-social support, information, training and referral to available services and resources.

Main responsibilities

Under the supervision of the PML Coordinator, the Caregiver Advisor’s principal duties will include:

  • Welcoming caregivers who contact the organization either by phone, email or in person by offering them attentive listening and support in identifying and formulating their needs
  • Refer them to the appropriate services and resources
  • Guide and support caregivers in their journey
  • Offer individual, family or small group meetings at our offices, via Zoom or by phone
  • Develop the contact network of partners and resources on the territory
  • Maintain and improve the list of resources for caregivers
  • Organize conferences and information sessions on the disease, on stress management, on the prevention of burnout or any other relevant subject, according to the needs of caregivers
  • Facilitate training workshops or support groups (as needed)
  • Handle confidential customer information, statistics and archiving

Position Requirements

  • A Master’s degree in social work or other related field
  • Experience working with seniors and their families (an asset)
  • Have a good knowledge of the health and social services network and community resources
  • Knowledge of the needs of caregivers as well as issues related to degenerative diseases (an asset)
  • Have an excellent knowledge of French and English, spoken and written

Skills required

  • High interpersonal skills, sympathetic listening and empathy
  • Support in illness and grief (an asset)
  • Professional Judgment and Discernment
  • Confidentiality
  • Desire to learn and to improve yourself
  • Ability to communicate well both orally and in writing
  • Facilitation of workshops or support groups
  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Good organizational and planning skills
  • Good knowledge of the Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint)

Working conditions

  • Competitive salary
  • Hours per week: 15h/week
  • Employment status : contractual
  • Location: remote and/or office
  • Expected start date: immediate

To apply

Please send your resume and a letter of motivation to Janie Guénette, Coordinator, by email at montreal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca before August 15, 2021.

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Tribute to Carmen Fortin, volunteer for Parkinson Montreal-Laval

It is with deep sorrow that the Parkinson Montreal-Laval team was informed of the death of Carmen Fortin, an exceptional volunteer who was involved in the community for many years. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Carmen Fortin had been living with Parkinson’s disease for many years. Very active, her life reflects the power of action.

After her diagnosis, Carmen quickly became involved in the Parkinson’s Montreal-Laval community. A qualified teacher, she wanted to share her experience with as many people as possible by creating a support group in her area and then becoming a “coach” for new support group leaders.

Driven by a sense of urgency and a desire to respond to the needs of people living with the disease, she gave a lot of her time and was able to mobilize her entourage.

Committed and multi-talented volunteer, she has become a reference within Parkinson Montreal-Laval. Aware of the benefits of physical exercise, she travelled across the region to give conferences and share her expertise on how to live better with Parkinson’s.</div>Committed and multi-talented volunteer, she has become a reference within Parkinson Montreal-Laval. Aware of the benefits of physical exercise, she travelled across the region to give conferences and share her expertise on living better with Parkinson’s. She also initiated the Practice Your Voice workshops in collaboration with Dr. Ingrid Verduyckt, Assistant Professor at the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology of the University of Montreal. These essential workshops for people living with Parkinson’s meet once a week. Always ready to propose new projects and adapting to people’s needs, she knew how to help them in their personal care. Carmen was also involved in the accounting for several years.

Beyond her volunteer role, Carmen was a brave, dedicated and positive person.

It is with a lot of affection that Parkinson Montreal-Laval will remember Carmen.

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Let’s go for the Parkinson’s Journey!

Ready, Set, Go! The Parkinson’s Journey, the most important fundraising campaign in the province, is back. From now until September 30, you can participate and help us reach our goal of $20,000 in donations for the Montreal-Laval region.

Like every year, we will be thousands of people living with Parkinson’s disease, loved ones, families and everyone who supports the cause, to mobilize in support of the 100,000 Quebecers affected by Parkinson’s disease – 25,000 diagnosed people and their loved ones.

This year’s theme is To move is to live, to give is to hope. The objective of the journey is to invite participants to take part in a walk to promote physical activity and to raise the funds necessary to offer adapted services to people affected by the disease.

For this occasion Parkinson Montreal-Laval will offer a Facebook Live on September 12th for an online warm-up session.

Moving for a good cause

To participate in the Parkinson’s Journey, you have several options:

1. Take on a personal challenge, alone or in a team

To do so:

  • Choose your challenge (walk, run, dance or any other physical activity), its time period and date
  • Register yourself or your team on our CanadaHelps.org page
  • Raise awareness of this challenge and invite your friends and community to make a donation
  • Post photos and/or videos of your challenge on social networks. To help us share your challenge, don’t hesitate to identify our Facebook @parkinsonmontreal.laval and/or Instagram parkinsonml accounts

2. Join our Facebook Live event on September 12 by registering online

3. Donate to the Parkinson’s Journey and help us reach our goal of $20,000

A major campaign for Montreal-Laval

By joining the Parcours Parkinson Montréal-Laval, you allow us to offer local services in our community. Donations are essential to consolidate and develop our services, such as the Info-reference telephone line, post-diagnosis meetings, self-help and support groups, physical activity classes, twinning and many other activities offered throughout the year.

In the Greater Montreal area, 10,000 people are living with the disease and 40,000 people are affected when caregivers are included. Statistics show that the number of cases will double by 2031. This is why we want to redouble our efforts!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: by email at montreal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca or by phone at 514 868.0597.

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Roll up your sleeves with the Bike Challenge

Do You Know? Once again this year, pedaling will help a good cause! The Bike Challenge, proposed by Parkinson Quebec, is back with its 11th edition, which takes place online from June 10 to October 13, 2021.

Participating in this challenge and becoming a Pedallian is an active commitment to the well-being of the 100,000 Quebecers affected by Parkinson’s disease – 25,000 diagnosed people and their families.

The goal? Accumulate miles together to raise $200,000 in donations for the Parkinson’s community.

An interactive format to be active and positive!

If this 11th edition takes place in virtual mode, the commitment of the participants is real. To participate, the pedallists can, at their choice :

  • Set a goal and accumulate the kilometers pedaled during your personal excursions for the duration of the Bike Challenge.
  • Organize an excursion and pedal according to the challenge previously set.
  • Organize a team excursion on a specific day.
  • Accumulate kilometers by exercise bike or pedal boat to reach the chosen challenge (40 km, 60 km, 90 km, 150 km).

Trips are possible throughout the province of Quebec (and beyond!) at any time, but with a symbolic date of Saturday, August 28, 2021, when a gathering at Oka Park should have taken place.

To participate, it’s simple, just create your team or join one on the Parkinson Quebec website by clicking here.

As part of the donations will be given to regional organizations such as Parkinson Montreal-Laval, Parkinson Quebec invites participants to note the name of the region in their profile or team name.

In addition, you can follow the sporting success of the cyclists involved by joining the Défi Vélo Parkinson Québec club on the Strava application by clicking here.

Participants are invited to communicate to give the challenge, and therefore the cause, maximum visibility!

The PML team gets into the saddle!

With Janie, Elisabeth, Linda, Sophie, Annie and Alissa, the entire PML team is getting into the saddle. More motivated than ever, they are mobilized to collect essential donations for the PML community. The funds raised will allow PML to consolidate and develop a number of services and activities to provide people living with Parkinson’s and their loved ones with the advice and support they need.

So don’t hesitate and join the Pedallian community!

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Connected and mobilized: the activity report is available!

If the health crisis has somewhat changed the way of doing things, it has fortunately not had any impact on the services offered. Indeed, whether by phone, by videoconference or by e-mail, the entire team of Parkinson Montreal-Laval remained mobilized to provide people living with the disease and their caregivers with the services and support they need.

We were very quick to make the virtual shift and to assist our members in this transition. Moreover, despite the changing context, our services have greatly diversified.

During the year, more than 1000 members benefited from our services.

Find all our actions and much more in the 2020 activity report.

N.B : The English version will be available soon

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Together it’s better: on the road with TANDEM

Parkinson Montreal-Laval launches its new twinning program

Successful challenge for the twinning project! After a 3-month pilot project this winter, which enabled 10 twinning pairs to be set up, Parkinson Montréal-Laval is taking things to the next level with TANDEM, a twinning program between two persons living with Parkinson’s disease. The concept? To bring together two people who want to share their experience, learn from each other and develop new ideas for living better with the disease.

It is better to move forward together

It is well known that if alone we go faster, together we go further! And this is even more true when you are confronted with the disease. Faced with the shock of the diagnosis and the difficulties that are emerging, isolation can unfortunately appear to be an option.However, staying alone with worries and questions is not the solution! While family members and healthcare providers play an essential role in providing daily support, being able to talk to someone who is going through, or has gone through, the same challenges is often extremely rewarding.

The twinning allowed me to put my emotions and anger into words. By sharing, I realized that it was better to deal with everything. The importance of talking to someone who also lives with the disease, after such an important announcement, is very important,” explains Denis Dupuis, who was diagnosed in 2020 and who participated in the pilot project.

Finding the balance

The TANDEM program allows participants to share their experiences with each other and to find the resources and support they need in these discussions. Anyone can participate, regardless of the number of years since their diagnosis.

Each tandem commits to at least three activities (physical or online) that the participants choose together: a phone call, a video conference but also, when the sanitary context allows it, a physical activity session, a visit to a museum or a meeting at a restaurant.

For the past three months, because of the pandemic, our activities have been limited to phone calls every Saturday for about an hour. At this point, we have made 10 calls that have allowed us to share our respective experiences and to begin to establish friendships,” says Francine, who has been living with the disease for several years and who participated in the pilot project.

Implemented by our advisor Annie Cusson, this program also includes support at every stage and a toolbox to encourage discussion and mutual support.

A twinning full of sharing

This unique experience is based on a set of values and founding principles. In TANDEM, there are :

  • Transmission

Based on a logic of reciprocity, the program encourages the sharing of resources. Each participant shares his or her experience and feelings within the tandem, which contributes to the enrichment of everyone.

  • Apprentissage (Learning)

Being curious about each other is a key element of the twinning. Within each tandem, participants learn from each other, and by learning from each other, we also learn, sometimes, to better know ourselves.

  • Non-Judgment

Open-mindedness and mutual respect are key. These tandems should be safe places where participants can freely express themselves without ever being judged.

  • Developpement

The objective is also to stimulate the empowerment of all participants to better cope with the disease. The twinning should contribute to the personal development of each person in order to feel good in everyday life.

  • Entraide (Mutual Aid)

As one of the cornerstones of the program, mutual aid allows participants to be listened to and to find the motivation they may need. This mutual support also encourages the development of participants’ autonomy.

  • Mouvement

The challenge is also to stay active and positive! That’s why the program encourages a variety of activities, as soon as the sanitary situation will allow it.

We will continue our friendship even after the project is over. It will be an added bonus in our lives as diagnoses to share our concerns, break the isolation and learn more about each other,” explains Pierrette, recently diagnosed and twinned with Francine.

How to participate?

It’ s easy to participate in the program! All you have to do is :

This form allows Parkinson Montreal-Laval to identify your profile, your needs and your interests. PML processes the requests, analyzes your needs and proposes a tandem.

  • Sign the commitment and consent form which can be downloaded by clicking here

At the end of the twinning, each participant agrees to contribute to the evaluation of the program.

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Connect’Aide: virtual meetings but real connections

Launch of a new tablet lending service for caregivers

Let’s stay connected with Connect’Aide, a new electronic tablet lending service for caregivers of people living with Parkinson’s disease. It is the result of a collaboration between Parkinson Montréal-Laval, La Coop Ressource Informatique and La Puce Informatique. 8 caregivers from the Montreal area will benefit from the loan of a tablet and personalized support to participate in online activities offered by Parkinson Montreal-Laval. This free service is offered for 6 months and includes mobile data in cases where caregivers do not have access to an internet connection.

A complete service package

Thanks to the complementarity of the three partners involved, a complete service has been set up. Parkinson Montreal-Laval provides the electronic equipment (tablet, headset with integrated microphone) and is in charge of identifying and contacting the caregivers who could benefit from this service. La Coop Ressource Informatique is responsible for the initial configuration of all the tablets. Finally, La Puce Informatique offers personalized support in the use of technology throughout the month of June. This training will allow caregivers to learn how to use the tablet, to understand how to use electronic mail and to become familiar with the Zoom platform to participate in video conferences and with the Hangouts application to chat with relatives and friends by phone calls or text messages. The training will also allow them to integrate basic notions of online security. Finally, virtual spaces will be made available to them so that they can ask all their questions.

And the good news is that there is still a place to benefit from this service. If you are, or if you know, a caregiver of a person living with Parkinson’s in the Montreal area, contact us: montreal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca or 514-868-0597.

Connecting caregivers

With the health crisis, community organizations have had to adapt and change the way they operate. More globally, it is all of our social interactions that have been changed. Face-to-face meetings have gradually been replaced by virtual activities. If there is a lack of human contact, these new technologies have nonetheless made it possible to stay connected. However, when one does not have the necessary computer equipment and knowledge, it is not always easy to maintain social contacts in this sanitary context. Isolation is then a real danger. This is why the L’Appui pour les proches aidants de Montréal had the idea to support this beautiful project which aims to improve the digital inclusion of seniors.


Our partners

L’Appui pour les proches aidants was created in 2009 to help improve the quality of life of those providing care to older adults by facilitating their daily tasks and ensuring that they take full advantage of available resources.

The Coop Ressource Informatique is a social economy organization that aims to meet the computer needs of community organizations.

La Puce informatique is a social economy organization whose mission is to offer training in information technology to the population.

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A daily rhythm with Parkinson’s

3 questions to Yvan Demers who has been living with Parkinson’s for 6 years

On International Dance Day, we met with Yvan Demers, a dance passionate who talks about his daily life with Parkinson’s disease with poetry and humor. He delivers a touching and inspiring story with a nice dose of good mood.

To begin, could you quickly introduce yourself?

Yvan: my name is Yvan Demers, I will be 60 years old in a couple of weeks and I have been living with my friend Parki for the past six years. When I finished my career 4 years ago, I “re-processed” my priorities. I built a diversified program including dancing. By the way, on this International Dance Day, I would like to celebrate all the inspiring dancers on the planet. Personally, I’m more of a dancer inspired and animated by various types of music. If the rhythm matches my mood, I allow myself to flow, my body softens. It’s like drinking the magic potion of Panoramix. You will understand my description if I tell you that I liked the adventures of Asterix.

How does dancing fit into your daily life with Parkinson’s?

Yvan: when my friend Parki Rigidity wakes me up in the morning, I have the choice to either try again to sleep with Parki Rigidity or to get up. You have to know that Parki Rigidity is 80 years old. He gets up slowly and brushes against the wall. It is a question of balance. He feels a contraction under his left foot. He hardly gets dressed without making too much noise so that he doesn’t wake up his spouse. But when it is barely 5 o’clock, it is too early for medication. Parki Rigidity is very invasive. So nothing better than turning on my wireless headphones and choosing a playlist on Deezer to keep him away! Parki Rigidity is the person who sits on the edge of the dance floor and doesn’t like to move for all sorts of good reasons. I then randomly look for the rhythm that will make me move. And here we go! I quickly find my flexibility, my balance and my fluidity. I surprise myself. For a few moments, I am thirty years old and I move on my improvised dance floor between the table, the counter and the sofa. Parki Rigidity is tired of it. He leaves to rest. I am sympathetic to his cause, but after all, it’s my body, it’s my choice. It’s motivating to see yourself move gracefully (let’s say the word gracefully is a subjective and personal assessment).

This motivation stimulates my energy, but I can’t dance all day because when I dance I “forget everything”. I live in the present moment. A kind of mindfulness found in meditation. At certain times of the day, my head starts moving like the big-headed dolls mounted on the dashboard of a car. It is Parki Trembling who has just joined me again. He is the one who makes me waddle from one side to the other. However, a good musical rhythm and a little room to move, then Parki Trembling returns to sit on a bench.

Dancing is part of a whole in my daily routine with Parki. For example, cardio workouts influence my future dance moves and vice versa when I dance I improve my coordination and flexibility for more efficient workouts. The same principle applies when I do yoga and meditation where breathing becomes more important, etc. I like the variety and I am aware that it will evolve over time… but I believe that dancing is here to stay.

And how did this passion for dance come about and what does it bring you?

Yvan: recently, a participant in a class asked me if I had been in Cirque du Soleil. My career was spent sitting in an office and I had no time or energy to move at the end of the day. Flattering or joking comment? Actually, I don’t care. At 60, with medication and a program that includes dancing, I have the chance to be 30 and 80 in the same day. Imagine the benefits: the experience and wisdom of an elder, mixed with the energy and flexibility of a young adult. As for the 80 years that my friend Parki gives me, it reminds me of the chance I have to move and especially to dance with the best of what’s left.

A little word for the end?

Yvan: on this international dance day, I thank all the inspiring dancers. Let yourself be inspired and dance.

As for me, my dance style is creative dance. I don’t really have a style, but I like Carol Jones’ creative dance and movement sessions. It inspires me to do new tricks. She’s been dancing for about 40 years. She takes some of my moves and suggests variations that challenge my coordination, flexibility and balance. The results are sometimes amazing and elegant.


And don’t forget, in this Parkinson’s disease awareness month, you can make a difference by donating virtual tulips. It’s easy, just visit CanadaHelps.org and select the “Virtual Tulips” tab under “Assign your donation to one of the funds created by this organization”.

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Caregivers: don’t be isolated to better help

3 questions to Judith Gay, caregiver to her husband for 18 years

Did you know that? In the greater Montreal area, more than 10,000 people are living with Parkinson’s disease, but 40,000 people are affected if we count the caregivers. The role of caregiver is often a natural one, but it is also associated with many challenges.

In this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we would like to acknowledge all those women and men who are committed to providing help and support to their loved one living with the disease. We met Judith Gay, who has been a caregiver to her husband for 18 years, and who shares with us an authentic and moving story.

And don’t forget, in April, you can make a difference by donating virtual tulips. It’s easy, just visit CanadaHelps.org and select the “Virtual Tulips” tab under “Assign your donation to one of the funds created by this organization”.

To begin, could you tell us how Parkinson’s disease affects your daily life?

Judith: Parkinson’s disease affects our lives in many ways. Our love life, our family life, our friends, our activities, our projects, nothing is spared. This change can be very small or very big. So the life of the person with Parkinson’s and our life becomes life with Parkinson’s, every day, every hour. The body and the mind are attacked. Nothing is the same as it was before and we don’t know what the future will bring. We have to adapt.

What does it mean to you to be a caregiver?

Judith: being a caregiver says it all. It means helping our partner, our loved one, to maintain his or her autonomy, accompanying him or her through the changes, listening to him or her, planning ahead, always being informed, forgetting oneself, living through losses, successive little griefs, being angry, laughing, crying, worrying and, despite everything, hoping.

In April we #FlowerHope, what advice could you give to people who are affected by this disease?

Judith: after living with Parkinson’s disease for 18 years, I can see the ups and downs of my partner and myself. But I learned one thing, don’t isolate yourself, stop thinking that only you can help your partner. One day, I knew I needed help if I wanted to help him. With a dose of courage and humility, I made a call to Parkinson Montreal-Laval. My life changed, I was no longer alone.

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Let your voice be heard!

3 questions to Ingrid Verduyckt, PhD, Assistant Professor at the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Did you know? The majority of people living with Parkinson’s disease have language problems: the voice may become hoarse or shaky, articulation less precise, speech altered…

On this April16, International Voice Day, we give the floor to Dr. Ingrid Verduyckt, assistant professor at the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Montreal. She is passionate about voice and delivers a strong and optimistic message, inviting people living with Parkinson’s disease to make their voices heard.

And don’t forget, in April, you can make a difference by donating virtual tulips. It’s easy, just visit CanadaHelps.org and select the “Virtual Tulips” tab under “Assign your donation to one of the funds created by this organization”.

To begin, could you quickly introduce yourself?

Ingrid:I am originally from Belgium and have lived in Sweden for a long time. It was there that I started studying speech therapy, because I was passionate about the voice. I started working as a speech therapist in Sweden and then in Belgium, with people who have difficulties with their voice. Since 2014, I am no longer a speech-language pathologist, but I am a professor and researcher at the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology of the University of Montreal. I am passionate about the diversity of voices, and their unique character. We all have our own unique voiceprint that works a bit like our sound face. Our voice is intimately linked to our personality, and that is fascinating! In 2018, I had the opportunity to meet a member of Parkinson Montreal-Laval who invited me to the vocal practice groups she was organizing for and with other people living with the disease. This meeting made me aware of the vocal difficulties experienced by these people and the lack of available and accessible tools for them to act on their voice. Since then, I have been involved with associations for people with Parkinson’s disease and I am focusing my research on developing tools and voice resources for their members.

Why is it essential for people living with Parkinson’s disease to practice their voice?

Ingrid: Parkinson’s disease affects the vocal gesture and changes the quality of the voice. The voice can become weaker, more fragile, unstable, cracked or broken, jerky, trembling, etc. Words may be more difficult to articulate and you are less likely to be understood. The voice is produced by a set of muscles that activate together in a rapid movement that requires fine and precise coordination. With age, and even more so with Parkinson’s disease, this precise and complicated gesture becomes more difficult to program and to perform. Changes in the voice can mean that we have difficulty recognizing ourselves in this “sounding face” that no longer sounds like us and the people around us can no longer understand us as well as before. This leads to communication breakdowns and can make people lose the will to speak.

But by speaking less, we miss moments to train this gesture and these muscles of the voice. We can then fall into a negative spiral where the voice deteriorates more quickly. As with our other muscles and movements, it is important to work on our voice daily, to make sure we take a “vocal walk” at least every day! A vocal walk can be singing for 15 minutes, reading a long text aloud, walking while talking with another person, participating in a vocal practice group or a choir for example. For specific training and therapeutic purposes, it is recommended to consult a speech therapist who will be able to propose an individualized program.

In April we #FlowerHope, what advice could you give to people who are affected by this disease?

Ingrid: dare! Dare to make your voice heard! Be proud of what it is and the connections it allows you to make. Don’t judge it harshly, cherish it, take care of it as you can! Think of all the things it has allowed you to do since the beginning of your life: to let the child you were hear when he was hungry or in need of comfort, the bursts of laughter that have delighted your friends, the words of love that you have been able to say to your loved ones, the anger that it has allowed you to express, the comfort that it has helped you to bring to a loved one.

A final word?

Ingrid: your voice is precious, beautiful, and important, in all its forms! On days when it works the way you want it to, and on days when it seems to strike, it still deserves to be heard and respected!


Join Ingrid Verduyckt’s students every Friday at 4pm for the Practice Your Voice workshop.

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