How Can The Group Best Support You?

The Women with Parkinson’s support group began September 2014. Many of you have been here since that inaugural meeting. Many of you joined over the next few years. I attended my first meeting in September 2015 but had met some of you at lunch the month before at the Italian restaurant in Reston. Food was good, but the long private room with the long table made it impossible to talk with anyone other than the person sitting next to or directly across from you. 

Over the years, we’ve learned so much from our guest speakers who have so generously given of their time and expertise. We’ve commiserated and celebrated, cried and laughed together; recommended devices, services, and medical providers we’ve found helpful; inspired and motivated each other, and even survived a pandemic together. We are more than a support group. We are are close friends. We get it (the P!). We get each other. I can’t imagine my life without all of you in it. 

A lot has changed over the course of nine years. We’ve progressed at various rates, but we’ve all progressed. We share a disease, after all, that is progressive in nature. We’ve had a few birthdays. Our founder handed the responsibilities for arranging speakers and facilitating the meetings three years ago to a member who stepped up to the task. And thanks to Covid, some of us stopped coloring our hair and we all know how to use Zoom. 

Some things haven’t changed. We all still have Parkinson’s. We all still have each other. And we have our support group. 

This seems a good time, as we get close to winding down for summer, to check-in and ask how the group can best support you. When we discussed this last year,  the consensus was less guest speakers and to devote more of our meetings to just-us share time. 

This year we are asking the same overall question:  How can the group best support you?  A few specific questions to think about:
1.  Where does the group meet your needs?  
2.  Where does it fall short? 
3.  What changes would you like to see? 
4.  What would you like to remain the same?
5.  Would an earlier meeting time on Wednesday work for you? (Changing to 10:30 am – 12:00 noon so as not to conflict with the exercise class some attend at 1:15. )
6.  What other suggestions do you have?
7.  If you attend fairly regularly, what do you most look forward to?
8. If you attend occasionally or have stopped attending, it would be helpful if you shared why. 

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