Parkinson's awareness 'woeful'

The charity Parkinson's UK says its research shows a very low level of awareness about Parkinson's disease and its effects. Gaps in knowledge are worse in Wales than any other part of the UK.

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Parkinson's sufferer: 'Getting out of bed is the first challenge of every day'

These findings underline what we've been hearing from people with Parkinson's across the UK - that the general public simply don't understand their condition.

Disturbingly, because Parkinson's is so poorly understood, those with the condition tell us all too often that they are on the receiving end of these embarrassed and uncomfortable looks.

This woeful lack of knowledge means people with Parkinson's have been arrested simply for not smiling at a sporting event, or refused service by taxi firms because people have mistaken speech problems - a common symptom of the condition - for drunkenness.

– Steve Ford, Chief Executive of Parkinson's UK

The charity Parkinson's UK says people with Parkinson's 'desperately need' more understanding, as the condition makes simple day-to-day tasks 'almost impossible for some.'

Parkinson's is degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.

These days I can't turn over in bed which makes me very stiff when I wake up - so getting out of my bed is the first challenge of every day. Until I've taken my five tablets in the morning, it takes about an hour to get get going.

I do some things around the house but I have to have a cleaning lady because I can't acheive anywhere near as much as I used to before the Parkinson's.

Even getting up the stairs is difficult - I'm tired when I reach the top and end up staggering into the bedroom for a rest.

– Jenni McCabe, who has Parkinson's disease

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