Emotional support and counselling

Whether you're someone with Parkinson's, a family member or friend of someone with the condition, you may need support to help you deal with and think through end-of-life issues.

The issues surrounding death and dying are not easy to think about.

You may find it difficult to talk to family members or friends, or prefer to discuss matters with a trained counsellor or faith leader, or with someone who has a similar experience of Parkinson's to you.

Meeting other people with similar experiences can be invaluable when you're affected by Parkinson's.

You may find it useful to visit our Parkinson's UK forum. You can talk to other people affected by Parkinson's to ask questions and share experiences, or just browse the forum.

If you would prefer to talk to someone in person, Parkinson's UK has more than 350 volunteer-led local groups throughout the UK. These are run by volunteers who usually have experience of Parkinson's and offer local support to people with Parkinson's, their carers and families.

Counsellors are trained to help support people through difficult situations. They can help you understand your own feelings and talk about them.

Talking to someone other than your family and friends can give you the opportunity to have frank and confidential conversations, and this may help you cope better.

Where is counselling available?

Your GP can refer you to a counsellor but availability can depend on local authority funding, and waiting lists can be long.

Counselling is also offered through hospices, and you don’t have to be a patient at one. Some local and national charities also offer low cost or free counselling.

Other sources of counselling include private therapists, but this will involve a fee. Telephone counselling is also an option. This might be a good choice for anyone who is not mobile.

More information on all types of counselling and therapists is available from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Your Parkinson’s nurse or Parkinson’s local adviser will know what is available in your local area.

Information and support centres, such as Citizens Advice community centres and carers centres, are useful if you want to ask questions and talk to specialist staff and trained volunteers.

The centres have booklets and leaflets and some organise complementary therapies.

Your GP or Parkinson’s local adviser will be able to help direct you.

Some people find their religious faith or spiritual beliefs give them strength. You might like to talk to your faith leader about your worries and fears. They will be used to talking to people who have been through similar experiences to you.

Your faith community may also be a good source of practical and emotional support.

A hospital chaplain will be willing to help people of any religion and those who don’t have a faith. You can ask to talk to the chaplain at any time.

Download this information

Preparing for end of life (426KB)

We know lots of people would rather have something in their hands to read rather than look at a screen, so you can order printed copies of our information by post, phone or email.

Helpline and local advisers

Our helpline and Parkinson's local advisers are here to answer any questions you have about Parkinson's.

Call us on 0808 800 0303.

Last updated March 2016. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]