First Steps - for people newly diagnosed with Parkinson's

First Steps is a 2-day programme designed for people recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, and their families or carers.

First Steps addresses the questions and needs of people newly diagnosed with Parkinson's, from the point of diagnosis. The programme was developed by Parkinson's UK, health and social care professionals and people affected by Parkinson's, and is led by volunteer facilitators who are affected by Parkinson's.

Newly diagnosed people can attend the programme with a partner, family member, friend or carer.

    Programme overview

    Day 1

    Day 1 will cover:

    • impact of diagnosis and how to face the future positively
    • addressing fears and misconceptions
    • accessing the right services
    • getting the right information and support
    • importance of exercise in managing the condition

    Day 2 - follow up after 6 to 8 weeks

    Day 2 will cover:

    • recap of key information from day 1
    • review of participant activity
    • rights and legal issues e.g. employment and driving
    • separate group discussions for loved ones on how to best support their partner or relative, and how to access support for themselves
    • taster exercise session with a neuro-physiotherapist, including information on local classes for people affected by Parkinson's

    Telling your patients about first steps

    Telling your patients about First Steps when using our signposting at diagnosis resources can help to improve their diagnosis experience.

    People can self-refer and find out more about upcoming groups by emailing [email protected].

    First Steps is currently running regular groups in the following areas:

    • Aberdeen
    • Edinburgh
    • Exeter
    • Glasgow
    • North London
    • Plymouth
    • Sevenoaks

    • Southampton
    • Witney (Oxfordshire)

     

    Michelle Hu, consultant neurologist with the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre, was involved in getting the initial First Steps programme up and running. Find out more about her involvement and the experience of her patients by reading her blog.

    Read Michele Hu's First Steps blog
    Portrait of Michele Hu, consultant neurologist
    Image of woman smiling at Parkinson's exercise class

     

     

    "I have absolutely loved this group. It has really helped me to feel positive and to understand Parkinson's which has taken away the fear and anxieties I felt after diagnosis."

    First Steps participant