Parkinson’s sufferers in East Midlands suffer rudeness and hostility

Hands together Upyourfriendly
©Kai Schreiber

Over half of people with Parkinson’s surveyed in the East Midlands have faced hostility and rudeness from the public a new survey shows.

Data released by Parkinson’s UK, a charity that supports people with Parkinson’s and research into finding a cure, shows that people with Parkinson’s regularly come up against misunderstanding.

A third of people have been stared at, over a quarter have been mistaken for being drunk and one in ten have been laughed at because of their symptoms.

Steve Moss, 41, from West Bridgford was diagnosed with Parkinson’s four years ago.

He said: “I often feel awkward when I’m out in public and I’m having one of my tremors and I see people stare and mutter under their breath – it’s very off putting and makes me feel very self-concious.”

Parkinson’s affects 127,000 people in the UK, and an estimated 9,000 in the East Midlands with 39 per cent of those experiencing depression and 66 per cent suffering from anxiety.

What is Parkinson’s?

  • Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there is no cure.
  • The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.
  • Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s.
  • It affects 127,000 people in the UK – which is around one in 500 of the population.

Professor David Burn, Parkinson’s UK Clinical Director and Consultant Neurologist, warned:

“It’s devastating to see the added burden thoughtless reactions from the public are having on people with Parkinson’s.

“Patients I see in the clinic are already battling a myriad of neurological symptoms including anxiety, depression and insomnia – the last thing they need is to feel like a zoo exhibit when they step out of their front door.”

Steve said: “It’s not surprising that people feel so anxious about their condition because it is a degenerative disease with no cure – it’s difficult for everyone.”

Video: The Up your friendly campaign video encouraging people to be more understanding and friendly

Throughout Parkinson’s Awareness Week (20 – 26 April), Parkinson’s UK are urging people to ‘up your friendly’, by pledging to do small acts of kindness that can make an enormous difference to the lives of people with Parkinson’s.

Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK, explains:  “We  don’t expect people to be experts in knowing whether or not the person taking a little longer at the till, or looking unsteady on their feet is living with Parkinson’s.

“But by signing up to our new campaign with a small pledge – to smile or be that bit more patient – you can have a real impact on the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”

For more information about Parkinsons Awareness Week and the Up Your Friendly campaign click here.


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