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Twinning project: learning and sharing

3 questions to Francine and Pierrette, twinned at the beginning of the year

At the beginning of the year, Francine Beaudoin, who has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years, and Pierrette Meunier, newly diagnosed, decided to participate in the new twinning project offered by Parkinson Montreal-Laval. The idea? To bring together two people living with the disease who want to share their experience, learn from each other and develop new ideas for living better with the disease.

In this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Pierrette and Francine share their inspiring story that shows that together we can make hope flower! And don’t forget, you too can make a difference by donating virtual tulips. It’s simple, go to CanadaHelps.org and select the tulip donation option.

First of all, could you tell us why you decided to participate in the twinning project and what it brings you?

Francine: I have been living with Parkinson’s for 6 years and I keep myself informed with Parkinson’s Montreal-Laval by attending meetings and conferences. When I was told about the twinning project, I had several motivations such as helping, bringing, through my experience, a better understanding of the symptoms to a newly diagnosed person and establishing a bond of trust with a new person.

Pierrette: diagnosed 8 months ago, I need to use all the resources at my disposition to learn more about the disease, its evolution, the medication and how to manage it in order to avoid stress and anxiety as much as possible. Therefore, the twinning project seemed beneficial to me. It allows us to exchange with another person living with Parkinson’s like me. We can share our experiences, talk about our concerns, break the isolation, find common interests and socialize.

Francine: because of the pandemic, for the past three months, our activities have been limited to phone calls every Saturday for about an hour. At this time, we have made 10 calls that have allowed us to share our respective experiences and to begin to establish friendships.

Pierrette: we would have enjoyed other activities suggested by the project, such as a walk in a park, a visit to an exhibition, an excursion to a restaurant or to do sports together or simply to be able to talk about our experiences over a good cup of coffee, but these activities are impossible for the moment because of the sanitary context.

What does living with Parkinson’s disease mean to you?

Francine: after the shock of the diagnosis, we went in our own way to seek support and information to be advised and comforted. Indeed, this degenerative disease is scary and creates a lot of stress and anxiety. In addition to the apparent symptoms, it is necessary to adapt to a medication that is not always obvious.

Pierrette: we have many questions to ask our neurologist or our family doctor. Unfortunately, these professionals are not always available so we are happy to be able to refer to an association like Parkinson Montreal-Laval. The resources on the disease, the conferences, the physical activities, the meditation and relaxation workshops are a great help to tame the disease.

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

Francine: don’t stay alone with the disease and seek help and support from an organization like Parkinson Montreal-Laval in order to be listened to and comforted.

Pierrette: when facing the disease, it seems essential to us to keep a positive attitude! To better cope with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to respect your rhythm while learning to slow down. In addition, if possible, it is a good idea to do physical exercises on a daily basis.

A final word?

Francine: with this twinning project, we have established a beautiful complicity and we are discovering affinities. We are grateful that this partnership has been set up.

Pierrette: we will carry on our friendship even after the project is over. It will be an asset in our lives as diagnosed people to share our concerns, break the isolation and learn more about each other.

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Training workshops for caregivers of people living with Parkinson’s disease

In May, Parkinson Montreal-Laval will offer caregivers a series of 4 training workshops, followed by a sharing session with a caregiver.

These workshops will allow caregivers to learn more about Parkinson’s disease, to develop new approaches to their role and to maintain their personal balance. By participating in these workshops, they will leave with new knowledge, strategies and a series of informative documents.

Held remotely (on zoom) in small groups of 8 to 10 participants, these workshops will take place every Wednesday in May (May 5, 12, 19 and 26) and the first Wednesday in June (June 2) from 10:30 am to 12 pm.

For any questions or to take part in the workshops, please contact Sophie Lecours by phone at 514 868-0597 #2 or by email at soutienpml@parkinsonquebec.ca


When? Every Wednesday in May (May 5, 12, 19 and 26) and the first Wednesday in June (June 2) from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Where? On Zoom

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Together, let’s flower hope with the donation of virtual tulips!

Buds blooming, positive temperatures and longer days, etc., if April usually announces the beginning of spring, it is also the month of Parkinson’s disease awareness. An opportunity to cultivate solidarity and to flower, together, hope through the donation of virtual tulips.

Tremors, muscular rigidity, slowness of movements, etc., some symptoms are known, but many aspects of this neurodegenerative disease remain unfortunately unknown. Indeed, behind this multi-faceted disease, there are also, and most importantly, people who have to deal with the disruption of their daily lives. In the Montreal-Laval region, no less than 10,000 people, and as many caregivers, live with the disease.

Together, let’s #FlowerHope with the donation of tulips

To continue to provide them with the services, advice and support they need, Parkinson’s Montreal-Laval is launching #FlowerHope, its virtual tulip donation campaign, on April 1. As was the case last year, due to the current sanitary context, this key campaign for all those affected is back with an adapted formula: from April 1 to 30, 2021, people are invited to donate virtual tulips on the CanadaHelps.org platform by choosing the “Virtual Tulips” tab.

Although the present period is complicated for everyone, it is particularly so for people living with Parkinson’s disease for whom isolation and lack of physical activity can have negative effects on the evolution of the disease. It is therefore essential to be able to maintain activities and continue to support them. So if you can, please donate virtual tulips so that together we can make hope bloom.

Flourishing activities

If the health crisis has somewhat modified the way of doing things, it has luckily not had any impact on the services offered. The month of April will therefore be an opportunity to continue to offer a variety of activities remotely.

In addition to this, Parkinson Montreal-Laval’s recurring activities include support groups, Practice Your Voice workshops, personalized follow-up, etc., as well as a new series of meditation workshops.

Inspiring stories

Throughout the year Parkinson Montreal-Laval has the privilege to meet, support, exchange and share with people living with the disease, caregivers, professionals… All these people are a real strength and a true source of inspiration. In this month of awareness, Parkinson Montreal-Laval wishes to honor them by publishing a story each week. To discover them, stay tuned! They will be available on our website and social networks:

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Recent diagnosis – Individualized meeting for diagnosed persons and their relatives

Have you just learned that Parkinson’s disease will now be part of your life?

Many questions running through your mind?

  • How to preserve your quality of life?
  • How to look to the future?
  • How to better face this disease?

And given all this, where to start?

It is perfectly normal to have questions and concerns. To support you as a person living with Parkinson’s disease or as a relative, Parkinson Montreal-Laval offers you a meeting during which you can get information on the disease and raise your questions, share your fears, then be comforted and advised. The objective is also to offer you resources that will help you deal with the disease on a daily basis.

For more information or to make an appointement, contact us by e-mail montreal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca or by phone 514.868.0597.

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Let’s move! Benefit from our Respite and Exercise Service

We know that as a caregiver it is not always easy to free up time to participate in some of our activities. Difficult, indeed, to leave his or her loved one alone during this time. This is the reason why, we offer you the Respite and Exercise service with our partner NeuroMotrix. How does it work? When a caregiver participates in one of the activities offered by Parkinson Montreal-Laval (self-help group, conference, telephone follow-up, etc.), the loved one can benefit from a free home exercise session with one of NeuroMotrix’s kinesiologists.

Thought for the well-being of both the caregiver and his or her loved one, this service allows:

  • Caregivers to participate peacefully in our activities and benefit from the support and guidance they need;
  • Loved ones to practice physical exercise, an essential element in maintaining their autonomy and improving their quality of life. In fact, physical activity has many advantages for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease: improvement of muscle flexibility, coordination, balance, decreased fatigability, reduced stress and much more.

Do not hesitate! If you would like to benefit from this service or if you have any questions, you can contact Janie Guénette by email montreal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca or by phone 514-868-0597, ext. 1.


About NeuroMotrix

NeuroMotrix is made up of a team of kinesiologists and scientific experts specialized in neurological disorders and the science of aging. Our expertise is adapted physical activity and our mission is to enhance the quality of life of people living with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

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Stay connected: a new electronic tablet lending service

Are you caring for a loved one living with Parkinson’s disease and a member of Parkinson’s Montreal-Laval?

Would you like to benefit from our services and participate in our activities remotely?

Unfortunately, you do not have the necessary computer equipment for this…

Good news, Parkinson Montreal-Laval (PML) wants to facilitate access to its remote activities (by videoconference) by implementing a new electronic tablet lending service.

Intended for the use of Montreal caregivers who are members of PML, this service is:

  • Free;
  • Available on a medium to long term basis – several weeks/months;
  • Ready to use – new tablets already configured with the necessary basic applications;
  • Provided with customized training and technical support – by phone if required.

In return, the recipient commits to:

  • Have access to an internet connection;
  • Participate in any of the activities offered in videoconferencing (Zoom) by PML.

If you would like to benefit from this service or if you have any questions, please contact Sophie Lecours by phone at 514 868-0597 #2 or by email at soutienpml@parkinsonquebec.ca or Janie Guénette by phone at 514 868-0597 #1 or by email at montréal-laval@parkinsonquebec.ca.

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