The Parkinson Education Program (PEP) for Community Caregivers is an introductory 8-module online educational series offered by Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario. This program is for caregivers (i.e. nurses, personal support workers, allied health professionals) who provide care to individuals living with moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease (PD). The target audience is caregivers working in community settings e.g. home health care, retirement homes, long-term care homes, and hospitals, caring for those living with Parkinson’s disease. These online modules include:
• What is Parkinson’s disease?
• Emotional and Psychiatric Changes
• Sleep and Fatigue
• Nutrition and Swallowing
• Activities of Daily Living
• Movement and Mobility
• Medical Treatment
Today’s caregivers are pressed for time, making it extremely difficult to attend educational opportunities regarding moderate to severe Parkinson’s disease. That is why Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario created the online Parkinson’s Education Program (PEP) for Community Caregivers – to offer flexibility so that all formal and informal caregivers can learn about Parkinson’s disease, on their time and at their own pace. In developing this educational program, our aim was to help reduce the burden of living with Parkinson’s disease and improve quality of life for affected individuals, their family members, and their care providers. Educating our communities about Parkinson’s disease is very important because it is among the fastest growing neurological conditions, and is expected to surpass that of Alzheimer’s disease (Dorsey et al., 2007). Knowing this, action is needed now! The Parkinson’s Education Program (PEP) for Community Caregivers welcomes all long-term care homes, retirement residences, community organizations, hospitals and home healthcare agencies interested in educating their staff about Parkinson’s disease. Each module takes approximately 35 minutes to 1 hour in length to complete, each containing a multiple choice quiz at the end and requires a minimum of 80% passing grade. After completing all modules of the Parkinson’s Education Program for Community Caregivers, a personalized Certificate of Completion will be issued. By taking this program, you will be able to do the following: – Identify the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; – Understand the current treatment options available for Parkinson’s disease; – Develop strategies to better manage communication deficits that are common in Parkinson’s disease; – Understand and support emotional and psychiatric changes in Parkinson’s disease; – Help improve sleep quality, and use strategies to conserve energy during the day; – Have knowledge on the impact of dietary protein on medications, how to keep bones healthy with Parkinson’s disease, and strategies for dealing with trouble swallowing, heartburn, and poor appetite; – Feel confident in supporting activities of daily living for someone living with Parkinson’s disease; – Understand motor fluctuations, freezing and festination of gait, falls in Parkinson’s disease, and strategies that can implemented to improve safety and mobility, and; – Recognize the importance of medication schedules, fluctuations, types of medications, and ways to cope with adverse effects of medications. The Parkinson’s Education Program (PEP) for Community Caregivers can be delivered in person! Please contact Kaitlin Garbutt at [email protected] for more information. If you are interested in becoming a Parkinson ‘s Education Program (PEP) for Community Caregivers Trainer, please contact Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario at [email protected] or call 1-888-851-7376 for more details.