Living

Parkinson’s Disease support group meets monthly

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A support group for people living with Parkinson’s Disease continues to meet in The County. The group meets once a month at The Sargent Community Center in Presque Isle. The meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month from 4 to 5 p.m. The next meeting will be held Dec. 7 and will continue through the 2023 calendar year.

Jennifer Bryce, MA, CCC-SLP, a speech therapist who works with patients with PD to help improve symptoms of voice, swallowing and memory problems, leads the group. She started the group when she returned to the area, and realized there wasn’t a group here in Aroostook County. The group has been meeting now for over two years. 

The meetings are focused to help people with the disease, and their loved ones, find the answers to their questions, and also discover a source of comfort and support in each other. The experience of discussing their individual challenges helps Parkinson’s patients know that they are not alone and realize positive solutions for living with the illness.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are unique to each individual, but frequently include physical tremor, stiff muscles, rigidity, and balance issues. Memory, speech, swallowing and sleep can also be affected.

People living with Parkinson’s have many different challenges in their daily life, things that most of us take for granted, like talking, getting dressed, sleeping, and eating. The group offers people living with Parkinson’s Disease and their loved ones to find support and information.

This group is not a therapy group or a substitute for medical treatment or health counseling. The meetings offer people with the condition a chance to share information and talk about their experience. Special guests and presenters are periodically available to discuss specific topics of interest.

The group is supported by the Maine Parkinson’s Society, who helped to establish the group in 2019. While there are several PD support groups in the state, this is the only one in The County at this time. For more information you are encouraged to come to the next meeting or contact Jennifer at mainelyparkinsons@gmail.com or 207-240-4112. Additional information and resources can be found at mainelyparkinsons.com.

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