Parkinsonís disease can have an impact on relationships, including friendships.†Friends may feel hurt if you reach out less often,†unaware that†apathy†and†fatigue†are common Parkinsonís symptoms.†If your symptoms are unpredictable, you may also feel less inclined to make firm plans in advance.†
But while the disease may change how you spend time with your friends, it doesnít have to herald the end of socializing.
Our community shared advice from personal experience on maintaining a social life after diagnosis. If you do not have Parkinsonís disease but have a friend who does, our community also shared advice how†to support a friend with Parkinson's.
1. Help friends understand that youíre the same person, but might have new limitations now. Sharing information about the disease with friends can foster better understanding, too.
2. Maintain your communication skills. Parkinsonís disease can affect your voice volume and clarity. Speech therapy can help.
3. Donít be afraid to accept invitations, but investigate the venue ahead of time if that makes you feel more secure. You may want to check and see if a destination is handicap accessible, for example. If you feel uncomfortable eating in a restaurant, suggest a more casual venue or an outdoor picnic.
4. Meet other people with Parkinsonís disease. Support groups can be great places to make new friends who understand your daily life. Groups can also share resources for people with Parkinsonís in your community.
Volunteering for a cause you care about it, whether it's Team Fox, animal rescue or another passion, is another great way to connect with friends.
5. Exercise with friends. Many people find that theyíre more likely to stick with an exercise routine if itís tied to a social engagement.†