Parkinsonís Awareness Week Launched at Parliament
ĎKorero Mai Ė Speak to meí is the theme of this yearís Awareness Week. This initiative will see Parkinsonís New Zealand, and their 20 divisions across the country, focus on reaching out to families affected by Parkinsonís disease who may find English-only material a barrier to access to vital information.
ĎA diagnosis of Parkinsonís can be hard to comprehend and for people who speak little or no English it can be even more confusing, stressful and alienating,Ď says the National Director of Parkinsonís New Zealand, Deirdre OíSullivan.
In addition to the English and Te Reo M?ori versions, An Introduction to Parkinsonís, which describes Parkinsonís disease symptoms, treatments and related services, will be available in Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Samoan, Spanish, Tongan, traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese.
According to the 2006 census, 2.2 percent of New Zealandís population, or 88,000 people, cannot maintain an everyday conversation in English, and over 671,000 people in New Zealand speak two or more languages.
The launch was hosted by Associate Minister of Health, Hon. Peter Dunne, and was attended by Ministers, cultural representatives, community leaders, health providers and people with Parkinson’s and their families.
Parkinsonís New Zealand is proud to work towards being more accessible to all New Zealanders affected by Parkinsonís, as Parkinsonís does not discriminate Ė it can affect anyone of any age and ethnicity.
For more information about Parkinsonís Awareness Week contact:
0800 473 4636
027 556 5760
Notes for Editors
- One in every 500 New Zealanders has Parkinsonís Ė around 9,000 people.
- Parkinsonís is a progressive neurological condition that occurs when insufficient quantities of the chemical dopamine are produced by the brain
- People with Parkinsonís tend not to refer to themselves as Ďsufferersí, opting for a more positive Ďpeople affected by Parkinsonísí.
- The main motor symptoms of Parkinsonís are:
o††††††† Tremor (shaking)
o††††††† Stiffness and rigidity
o††††††† Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
- Other symptoms can include changes in mood and anxiety, poor balance and altered speech
- A large number of people with Parkinsonís are aged over 65, however the average age of diagnosis is 59, and many New Zealanders are diagnosed with early-onset Parkinsonís in their thirties and forties.
- Parkinsonís New Zealand is a national not-for-profit with 20 divisions throughout the country and 35 Field Officers who work with people with Parkinsonís as part of multi-disciplinary team