A gathering of people affected by Parkinson’s was held today on the Ha’penny Bridge, asking the public to come together in their support for Parkinson’s patients.
This year marks the 200th anniversary since Dr James Parkinson first identified the condition and the bridge was chosen as it also recently turned 200.
Participating at this morning’s launch was RTÉ broadcaster Eileen Dunne, who said: “I am delighted to be here today to support those living with this condition in Ireland, and shine a light on the amazing work that the PAI does for its members in its 18 branches across the country.”
The condition affects more than 12,000 people in Ireland and Parkinson’s Awareness Week is running from April 4 – 9.
Paula Gilmore, CEO of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland (PAI), called on the Government to address a lack of funding for PAI services
“Currently, the PAI must step in and fund nurse and support services throughout the country, otherwise our members would be left with very little help.
“Our nurses and neurologists are amazing, but they are already spread so thin.”
Dr Richard Walsh, Neurologist in the Tallaght Movement Disorders Clinic, highlighted the urgent need for increased services within the Parkinson’s space.
“We have only five Parkinson’s Disease nurse specialists in the country, not all of whom work full time.
“It is estimated that we will need more than 25 nurse specialists to serve the growing population with Parkinson’s disease, which is expected to double in the next 20 years, further stretching the already very limited resources.”