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Beryl Rhodes, who has Parkinson's, drying up in her kitchen

Let's talk about loneliness

Date

Living with Parkinson's can be lonely. But we want to start a conversation about the link between loneliness and disability so that it doesn't have to stay like this.

From 10 July to 11 August, we're joining Sense and 20 other disability charities to highlight the fact that many disabled people experience loneliness.

Join us by pledging to start a conversation on the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness website.

You can also support the campaign by following @ParkinsonsUK on Twitter and following the hashtag #happytochat

SOMEONE CARES IF I'M NOT THERE

Earlier this week the Jo Cox Commission on loneliness launched a new report - 'Someone Cares If I’m Not There' - which explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities.

The report reveals how disabled people can experience loneliness for a wide range of reasons, including poor access to services, inaccessible transport and venues, and financial challenges.

Social attitudes are also a significant barrier - in 2016 our own research found that nearly 2 fifths of people with Parkinson's felt the need to hide their symptoms or lie about having the condition.

For the past 3 years I have only been out of the house to attend medical appointments. Most of my friends have died or are housebound themselves. My nieces and nephew telephone occasionally, but they have busy lives and their own parents to care for. There is a neighbour who pops in, but I don't want to be a burden to anybody.
Jean, 82, who has Parkinson's and lives alone

MPS AND PEERS SHOW THEIR SUPPORT

The Parliamentary launch of the report on Wednesday 12 July was a popular event with politicians.

3 of our supporters attended: Ronnie Shahmoon, who has Parkinson's, Desmond Fernandes, a carer, and Mary McKenna, a volunteer.

They talked to several MPs about their experiences of the condition, the impact of loneliness and how the government and society could help address the issue.

Baroness Gale, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Parkinson's, came along to talk to our supporters and hear their thoughts about tackling loneliness.