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 :
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.
Open-mindedness and mutual respect are key. These tandems should be safe places where participants can freely express themselves without ever being judged.
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.
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 :
- Read about how the project works and the commitment required
- Fill out the registration form that you can fill out online by clicking here or that you can download by clicking here and return it signed to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.