Break the Myth: Parkinson’s Is Not an Old Man’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that affects the movement and coordination of the body. Every year, April is the month of World Parkinson’s Awareness, hence the Perak Parkinson’s Association (PPA) took the opportunity to celebrate its members’ battle in fighting the condition.

Some people would fight in silence due to the fear of being a burden to their families. The lack of understanding from the community is another worry.

However, PPA wants to encourage those diagnosed with the disease to not be afraid to face it head-on. 

The association is committed to guide patients to lead a healthy and happy life. Celebrating the meaningful month for almost a decade, Parkinson’s Awareness Day 2022 marks the ninth commemoration. 

Members doing seated exercises

A lunch session with the members was held recently which briefly highlighted several activities by volunteers as well as a sharing session from a member, Lau Sook Kuan, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 15 years, about her experience. 

Lau shared that accepting the situation is the healthiest change one can give themselves and their family. Having a care-partner, whom you trust and who will help you through the tough time is also important.

“It’s never an easy task to care for someone sick. I am truly grateful for my husband who has stayed by my side and helped me get through this difficult period. There were times I couldn’t shake off the thought of feeling helpless and feeble, and in turn I let out my agitation on him. 

“Slowly, I began to understand that it is unfair for us to just take our emotions out on our care-partners. Communication, as unimportant as it may sound, is the way to unlock your inner thoughts and the key to resolving problems,” Lau stressed. 

Exercise, as we know, is a must-do part of life, regardless of which stage of life you are in. 

For individuals living with Parkinson’s, physical activity becomes a crucial daily routine, such as seated exercise, stretching, dancing, yoga and toning exercises to better manage the disease.

“Aside from exercises, we also employ qualified speech therapists for our members. We have temporarily halted karaoke due to Covid but at the moment, we are looking for a physiotherapist. 

“Exercises can help delay the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, and together with the doctor’s prescribed medicine, will prolong the quality of life for patients,” president of PPA, Chris Chai said. 

The get-together was attended by Perak state legislative assembly member (ADUN) for Canning constituency Jenny Choy Tsi Jen and organising chairperson, Chooi Yeow Kheong. 

Currently, there are over 300 members at the association and the door is still open for anyone who wants to become a part of it. 

Parkinson’s disease is not an ‘old man’s’ disease. It can happen to anyone. According to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia 2018, Parkinson’s is expected to increase five-fold from 20,000 to 120,000 by the year 2040. However, the cause remains unknown until today.

For more information, follow the Perak Parkinson’s Association’s Facebook page or contact them directly at 05-5455610

Perak Parkinson’s Association is located at 128, Hala Wah Keong, Taman Mirindy, 31400, Ipoh. 


Gisele Soo


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