PARKINSON’S NSW has urged Border doctors and federal MPs to take up its fight for a neurological nurse for Albury-Wodonga.
The community-based support group for sufferers of the disease said not one such nurse operated between Sydney and Melbourne, so those outside the big cities missed out on vital care that could keep them in their homes longer.
Parkinson’s NSW chief Miriam Dixon said nothing could replace face-to-face visits.
“Often when people with Parkinson’s go to the GP they get “glammed” up — put on their happy face and say everything is fine,” she said.
“When a nurse goes into a home she sees a true picture of what’s happening and supports the partner or carer.
“A nurse going into a home reduces the falls a person has.
“And when carers are supported, the person with Parkinson’s stays at home much longer.”
Wodonga grandmother Jenny Bolt, 60, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year, took part in the Albury-Wodnga Walk for Parkinson’s yesterday at Noreuil Park.
She suffers resting tremors and was forced to stop work as a sales assistant at Albury Myer 2½ years ago.
She said there was demand for a specialist nurse in the Hume Medicare Local area.
“We need someone we can turn to because, at the moment, we have to contact Sydney or Melbourne for a neurological nurse, she said.
“I’m lucky to have a wonderful family and people I can talk to but there are people out there who do not.”
The nurse would also help those with other neurological diseases, such as Parkinson-plus syndrome and motor neurone disease.
For more information about the campaign or to contact support groups, you can call the Parkinson’s hotline on 1800 644 189.