Community and collaboration: a Parkinson's nurse shares her leading lights

02 April 2023
Volume 34 · Issue 4


Living with Parkinson's can be challenging but one thing always stands out – the Parkinson's community is bright and brilliant. In celebration of World Parkinson's Day, Rachel Gardner shares how community care has been her leading light over the last ten years

I have been working with Parkinson's patients for over a decade. In my time as a lead Parkinson's nurse specialist I have seen many challenges. However, the insights and skills I have gained are invaluable for myself, my colleagues and the patients I work with.

When it comes to patient care, the most important thing in my mind is keeping people with Parkinson's out of hospital. It is what the patients want, it is what their families want, and what the Parkinson's specialist team wants. It saves money and helps avoid setbacks with the decline of symptoms, some of which can be irreversible. No one wants to go to hospital.

For someone with Parkinson's, a lengthened stay in hospital can worsen their symptoms because of the lack of access to physical activity and timely access to medication. Therefore, as a care team, we know we need to come at it from both sides through the clinical environment and the care provided at home.

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