The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), a global-reaching non-profit leading the way in improving the quality of Parkinson’s care, released a public service announcement (PSA) featuring U.S. Senator Cory Booker (NJ) to raise awareness of the early warning signs of the disease and the important role family and friends play in caring for those affected. The PSA is part of the organization’s campaign for National Family Caregivers Month in November.
In the 60-second spot, Sen. Booker talks about his father’s battle with Parkinson’s and the role his mother played as caregiver. Sen. Booker outlines ways to spot the early warning signs and where to seek help. The PSA will air in select markets across the country and also be available online in November to align with National Caregiver Awareness Month – a time to thank and celebrate the more than 60 million Americans who deliver care to seniors or people with disabilities or illnesses across the country.
“Caregivers, like my mom, face extraordinary demands both physically and emotionally,” said Sen. Booker in an op-ed published earlier this year in The Baltimore Sun. “More often than not, they are the ones navigating the treatment and care path — trying to figure out which approaches will bear the best results for their loved ones. This is why I am so grateful for organizations like the NPF because I know that they, along with others, offer support, strength and hope to patients and caregivers.”
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s, affecting about one million people in the United States and an estimated four million worldwide. There are a wide range of symptoms, including a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor and lack of facial expression), and non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety and loss of energy. There is currently no cure.
Through ongoing research, education and outreach, NPF works to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and assist patients and families in finding the best care possible. Today, NPF has created a global network serving the needs of the Parkinson’s community including 40 “Centers of Excellence” at top medical centers that deliver care to more than 50,000 Parkinson’s patients, and U.S. chapters and support groups providing access to local resources and services.
“National Family Caregivers Month is a time to acknowledge the vital role that family, friends and neighbors play in caring for friends and relatives,” said Joyce Oberdorf, President and CEO of the National Parkinson Foundation. “NPF is here to do ‘whatever it takes’ to help caregivers and patients through this journey.”