Podcast roundup: conversations on the reality of Parkinson’s


Author: Simge Eva DoganPublished: 30 July 2020

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We roundup Parkinson’s Life podcast series so far, where people with Parkinson’s come meet up to discuss the realities of living with the condition

1. What’s it like parenting with Parkinson’s?

Launching our podcast series on the topic of parenting, we brought together two parents with Parkinson’s for a frank discussion on how the condition has impacted their family life.

In this episode, Canada-based broadcaster Larry Gifford and US blogger and ‘American Ninja Warrior’ contestant Allison Toepperwein reflected on the difficulties of explaining Parkinson’s to their young children – and how their symptoms can make childcare challenging.

Offering advice to others, Larry says: “I wish somebody who was young-onset and had a family could have sat me down and said, ‘It’s going to be okay’.”

2. What’s it like caring for someone with Parkinson’s?

In episode two of Parkinson’s Life podcast, we met two guests who both care for a family member with Parkinson’s.

Ivona Cudova, who looked after her mother for six years, and Ola Larsson, whose wife Eleonor lives with the condition, discussed the highs and lows of being a carer – and how the role has impacted the relationships they share with their loved ones.

Asked about his future worries, Ola shared one of his mantras with Ivona and listeners: “Today is better than tomorrow, but it’s a little worse than yesterday.”

3. What’s it like managing your working life with Parkinson’s?

Danish politician Elisabeth Ildal and Irish Parkinson’s advocate Gary Boyle shared their advice and experiences of navigating the workplace after diagnosis.

“Working is a big part of my identity,” says Elisabeth. “I’ve been working since I was 15 years old and it keeps me going because even though you have Parkinson’s, I believe you have to participate in life.”

The guests also discuss the psychological and physical impact that their careers had on their Parkinson’s.

4. How can you speak the same language as your healthcare professional?

Episode four of the podcast explored how people with Parkinson’s can communicate better with the healthcare community.

Portugal-based physiotherapist Josefa Domingos and her patient Idelta Oliveira looked at how introducing a new assessment tool – called the Parkinson’s Disease Composite Scale (PDCS) – helped them develop a closer working relationship.

In an insightful and informative episode, Josefa explained that “it’s hard for people with Parkinson’s to quantify how they’re feeling”, and Idelta commented on the vitality of the tool, saying “all people with Parkinson’s should be aware of such assessments as these”.

Parkinson’s Life podcast is available on SoundCloud, iTunes and YouTube. Please rate and review the episodes to help others find us –  and if you have feedback, or ideas for future episodes, do get in touch at editor@parkinsonslife.eu to share your thoughts.

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Podcast: What’s it like parenting with Parkinson’s?

Podcast: What’s it like managing your working life with Parkinson’s?

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