From Greenville Area Parkinson Society
April 3, 2020
Dear GAPS Supporters,
I am writing with a response to the current COVID-19 concern as it pertains to our organization. On March 31, we decided to suspend all live programs until further notice, including postponing GAPS’ signature event, Strike Out Parkinson’s Day, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25th. The majority of our members are seniors, but all of them are immune-compromised. We want to do whatever possible to ensure they are supported and that their needs are being met.
During these uncertain times, we want to thank you for your continued support of the organization. As a result of your contributions, we have continued to provide free programs to families affected by Parkinson’s disease throughout the Upstate. Thanks to you, we added two new programs in 2020, an educational Coffee Talk series and a Mentor program, which has been extremely useful in this current crisis. One of our members is an 84year-old woman with PD who lives alone, doesn’t drive, and doesn’t have internet access. Having another person with PD calling her every few days is making a significant impact on her mental health!
GAPS regularly encourages our members and provides them with resources to socialize with others and exercise several times a week to live a high quality life. Without regular exercise, people with Parkinson’s Disease suffer a significant increase of severity of symptoms. In this current crisis, our members can no longer participate in the various exercise opportunities the GAPS provides which could prove devastating for this community.
We are doing everything we can as an organization to provide our members with virtual resources at this time, including online exercise classes and daily phone calls made by our dedicated volunteers to check in on our members.
We are working on instituting a weekly virtual support group to combat the isolationism that can lead to greater depression, but it can also help them help each other in getting their basic needs met during this challenging time. We want them to know that they are still not alone during this time and that we are continuing to walk with them along their journey with this disease.
Be safe during this time of concern. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate any changes and updates, but please call or email us if you have any questions. Thank you again for your support of GAPS. It is because of you that we are able to adjust in these times and continue to walk with our members.
Greenville Area Parkinson Society