Persistence pays off for Parkinson’s supporter
NORM Sander is just one of many people in the Tweed who have rallied for years to get funding for a specialist nurse to assist those with Parkinson’s disease.
On Tuesday, their plea was answered with the appointment of a specialist neurological nurse who will service the Tweed, Byron Bay and Ballina.
The announcement comes as a relief for people like Mr Sander whose wife, Alexandria, was diagnosed with the “insidious, debilitating disease” in July 2000.
Mr Sander said sufferers of the neurodegenerative condition required assistance by health care providers who were trained in the care and treatment of the disease.
The Parkinson’s Support Group Tweed Heads member said many nurses were unaware of the importance of administering Parkinson’s medication at the same time, every day.
“There was an incident at a hospital where Alex’s Parkinson’s medication was not given to her at the exact time every day,” Mr Sander said.
“Which results in the patient needing to stay in hospital longer than necessary and in a worse state.”
“It should be without question that when a Parkinson patient is admitted to hospital, the medication to be administered should be given at the appropriate time.
“It is recommended that relatives type out a list of what medications relating to Parkinson’s the person is on to assist staff to comply.”
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said specialised neurological nurses were proven to benefit people living with Parkinson’s and their families.
“They provide evidence-based advice and advanced nursing services and connect people with the support they require in their own community,” Mr Provest said.
“There is also evidence this model of care helps to reduce the sense of isolation many people with Parkinson’s experience, along with the high rates of depression and anxiety associated with the disease.”
“Where communities have access to a specialist nurse, carers and family members also show significant improvements in their own wellbeing, with reduced levels of depression.
“Hospital stays can also be reduced through the intervention of a specialist nurse.”
The position is being funded by Northern NSW Local Health District in partnership with Parkinson’s NSW.