Facing an illness presents many challenges. Yet in today’s world of social media, finding resources and support online has helped many to connect with others who are facing similar challenges.
A 71-year-old grandmother has recently become the first face of the newly debuted Facebook page called Parkinson’s More than Motion. Her name is Jo-Ann Golec. Via cinéma vérité online, video clips can be seen navigating her daily life — from scenes with her family to a luncheon date with female friends.
The page invites visitors to interact, learn details about the extent of Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms, and understand how to take control of their medical care. The name of the platform, More than Motion, was chosen because there is a full range of non-motor symptoms that affect the Parkinson’s population. In fact, it is estimated that 60 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease have two or more non-motor symptoms; 25 percent have four or more non-motor symptoms.
For those who don’t fall under the umbrella of presenting with the more “recognizable” motor symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, postural instability, and slow movements — quality of life concerns are often overlooked and therefore undertreated. These include:
• Sleep disorders
• Skin disorders
• Gastrointestinal or urinary disorders
• Depression, anxiety, decreased motivation, irritability
• Cognitive changes including memory problems or difficulty sustaining attention
Currently, one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease. There are between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases diagnosed in the nation annually, with the majority of patients averaging in their sixties. It is the second most common neurological disorder affecting the country’s older citizens.