"Building Community for the Journey" --------- October 2023

Find A Support Group Here

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant

A Care Partner...A Care Giver

My Story

by Charlotte James

Sixty years ago, I married my sweetheart, Jerry. I promised to love and take care of him to the end regardless of hardships and health issues. We celebrate 56 good years and with a heavy heart, try not to dwell on the last two years.

In 2002, Jerry was diagnosed with Parkinson's. He was in denial, and I wanted to know all that was possible about it. Thanks to many support groups, I found that I was not alone in my lack of knowledge. There were many wonderful people who shared their stories and gave me hope for the future. Knowledge gave me strength to plan for the future and live for each day's blessings.

For fourteen years, my husband experienced mild issues with his Parkinson's. He started with tremors and progressed over the years with the slowness in his walk, lack of taste and smell, and gradual depression. He was not happy that he was unable to be the man that he wanted to be. While I tried to give him positive support, we fell into a life of sadness. Counseling from credentialed "angels," support from family and friends, and a deep faith that I was not walking alone, kept me grounded.

Caring for the love of my life was a challenging journey. I understood that he was not happy with the changes in his physical person. As a care partner, we made decisions together. As his Parkinson's progressed, I became his care giver. I no longer felt like a wife and had to make decisions that were not popular and difficult.

How did I survive? With a sense of humor! Jerry liked to push my buttons. When I lost my cool... he would tell me that he liked it when I was "spunky." It was NOT funny when he played hide and seek...he would wander and couldn't remember our new home address. A memory that I will never forget was when I lost my cool and raised my voice. He disappeared. I searched for what felt like a very long time. After looking through the house more than once, then sitting in the garage crying and not knowing what to do, I decided to take one more look. I found him in his bedroom where I had searched more than once and asked him in the voice of a mother, "where have you been?" Jerry said, "I got out of dodge!" ****! Thank you, God for giving me grace!

As dementia kicked in, I learned to go along with him. When he said that there were ants on the floor (not there), I went for the broom.

I accepted help when it was offered and had to admit that I couldn't do everything alone. These special times allowed family to deepen their love for Jerry and they were given the joy of being there for both of us.


When friends asked how they could help, I was able to allow their gifts of meals and especially appreciated their visits giving me a chance to take breaks to recharge my battery. Jerry usually enjoyed the social time with friends. When I agreed to have someone come in once a week to provide respite care, I found that I didn't need to feel guilty for not taking care of him for those few hours. Little did I know that Jerry looked forward to a break from me too.

What now? When I lost Jerry, I didn't know what to do with myself. I met him when I was only 17 and we had spent nearly 60 years together. What future did I have alone? Through many tears and lots of prayer, I did find my next calling and that is to continue to care for others. There were so many wonderful people who supported me through my journey plus my faith brought stability. I now find solace in giving love to other caregivers and listen to their stories as a Stephen Minister. I walk this journey with others, and it brings me so much joy! When we care for others and are able to accept the care that is offered to us, we truly are never alone.   


Swing For Parkinson's -- Register and Info Here

Swing for Parkinson's

TopGolf Event in 2 Weeks!

No golf experience required!

Sunday, October 29 from 1-4 pm

Register Here

Featuring Robert Cochrane from Yes, And...eXercise! as the event emcee

Hurry! Register soon -- Golf Ticket: $80 / Social Ticket: $50

Price increase 10/20 to 10/27 -- Golf Ticket: $95 / Social Ticket: $65

A great afternoon of socializing and swinging clubs with PANC friends. Much like mini golf + bowling + music + food/drink + scoreboards = FUN! For the golf-shy, enjoy the fajita buffet and camaraderie of community. Let's celebrate! Limited tickets available.

Flight over Folsom Lake

Hand-crafted Quilt

Sacramento Republic

PANC's First Annual Online Silent Auction

12:01 am on October 22 - 4:00 pm on October 29

To support building the community and services of PANC

Details to participate emailed soon!

Easily bid from your computer/phone or in-person at TopGolf event

Trips/adventures: 2 x night stay in Paso Robles (wine tasting region); 3 x hour limousine ride for up to 8; sightseeing flight over Folsom Lake for up to 3; 3 x night stay in Park City, Utah; 2 x each (bid on both pair for 4 tickets total) to the Sacramento Ballet's Nutcracker (12/17/23 at 2:00 pm); 4 x tickets to 2024 Sacramento Republic Soccer game.

Arts/crafts: Intricate hand-crafted lap quilt; horseshoe wine rack; exotic woods cutting board; wine barrel charcuterie tray; Mardi Gras mask.

Gift baskets: Wine experience; I love America; Cheers to winter champagne; Changing seasons; I love cookies!

Exercise/body alignment: -- U-Step Walker; Chiropractic services; Varimax golf fitness certificate.


Misc. -- Yes, And,...eXercise educational package; Rooftop kayak carrier rack; Dirk Holstege (PwP) book collection; Carve Designs Vandetta polarized sunglasses; case of William Hill Wine and more!

2023 Education Conference Was a Success!

The 2023 Annual Education Conference has now passed, and we think it's fair to say that a significant constituency of attendees were incredibly pleased with the event. 778 individuals attended (104 virtually), and a great time was had by all.

Responses of the attendees' surveys returned indicated:

  • 96.6% of attendees were very satisfied or satisfied with the event.
  • 99% felt the relevance of topics covered was very good or good.
  • 96.7% enjoyed the quality of presentations.
  • 85.8% had enough time to network with others.
  • 92% of attendees were very satisfied or satisfied with the location.
  • 92% of attendees were very satisfied or satisfied with the check-in process.
  • 100% of the sponsor/exhibitor surveys indicated that they were very satisfied with the amount of interaction, benefits received, and overall event.

Watch for additional detail and photographs from the conference in the next edition of the Parkinson Path.

Save Saturday, September 28, 2024, on your calendar for the next one featuring Twitchy Woman as the keynote speaker.

ParkinsonWISE® Training for Exercise Professionals

October 28 from 10am - Noon

Kaiser Roseville Medical Center

Cost: $40 -- Register & Info Here

Developed by Kaiser Permanente and PANC

for exercise professionals, coaches, teachers, and mobility instructors

on how to work with clarity and confidence with the PD community.

Flyer here

PANC Partner -- Lion's Club Canine Companions

The Lions Project for Canine Companions (LPCC), a Lions foundation, was formed in 1983 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization creating awareness and providing support for Canine Companions®, a non-profit organization that provides expertly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

Can you imagine having a dog that could turn on lights, pick up dropped keys, or open a door? Canine Companions service dogs are partnered with adults with physical disabilities to assist with daily tasks and increase independence by reducing reliance on other people. A service dog can pull their partner in a manual wheelchair, push buttons for elevators or automatic doors, and even assist with business transactions by transferring money, receipts, and packages.

For additional information about the program, contact local Lion's representative Mark Steffens by email here or call him at 916-214-8650.

October Free PD Webinars

Wednesday, October 18 at 10 am -- Parkinson's Anonymous by the Parkinson Foundation.

Highlights the challenges many people face when deciding how and when to share their diagnosis publicly. Recognizing that both cultural and financial factors come into play, the decision to “come out” with Parkinson’s can be emotional and personal. Hear from peers who have navigated this process. Focus will be on highlighting ways to find support without sharing a diagnosis beyond your comfort level. Register here

Tuesday, October 18 at noon -- Integrative Medical Care and PD by PMD Alliance.

Learn to combine eastern practices such as tai chi and acupuncture with western medicine and supplements for a holistic approach to navigating Parkinson disease. Register here


Sunday, October 22 at 9am -- Motorvation hosted by Twitchy Woman.

Learn about the “Think and Move Well Method” and “Brain Blast Dual Task Training.” Both were developed by the speaker for people with Parkinson's to improve movement and memory. Register here

Monday, October 23 at 12pm -- Blood Pressure Control, Autonomic Dysfunction & Parkinson’s Disease by the American Parkinson Disease Association.

A neurologist with expertise in the clinical care of the autonomic dysfunction of PD will explain how autonomic dysfunction in PD can lead to constipation, urinary dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, poor temperature control, and sweating abnormalities. He will answer questions and offer helpful advice on how to manage these symptoms and improve quality of life. Register here

Sunday, October 29 at 10am -- Parkinson’s: The Funny Side hosted by Twitchy Woman.

In 2010, British comedy writer Mayhew-Archer was told he had PD and decided to find it funny. If you’re worried or in need of a laugh, join the fun. Register here

Thank you for this information collected and distributed by the Stanford Parkinson's Community Outreach team.

* Contact Jan Whitney here if you are interested in

placing a sponsor article in the Update.

www.panctoday.org aaaaaaaaaaaaaWays to Support