Statements & Speeches

Parkinson Awareness Month (Statement)

April 10, 2019

Hon. Judith G. Seidman: Honourable senators, April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a month that recognizes members of the Parkinson community across Canada.

Parkinson’s disease is the fastest growing of all neurological disorders. Globally, the number of individuals with Parkinson’s disease has more than doubled since 1990, increasing from 2.5 million to 6.1 million in 2016. There is no known cause; there is no known cure.

In Canada, an estimated 100,000 people live with this condition. As the population ages, we will continue to see an increase in the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease. New research indicates that people with Parkinson’s disease are six times more likely to develop dementia.

Parkinson’s is a disease of the brain that affects every aspect of daily living, including tremors, slowness of movement, difficulty with balance and walking, mood, depression, speech, eating and drinking, sleep, and cognitive changes. Parkinson’s disease worsens over time, resulting in a loss of independence and ultimately premature death.

Since 1965, Parkinson Canada has offered education, advocacy, public awareness and funds for research. Across the country, Parkinson Canada helps ensure that no one faces Parkinson’s disease alone.

This April, during Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Parkinson Canada wants Canadians to know that they can now access tools and resources to help manage their life with Parkinson’s. They have launched their ACT on Time campaign, a campaign that includes ACT on Time kits with practical tools and information for those diagnosed, their care partners and the health professionals they will interact with.

Honourable senators, like me, it is likely you know someone living with Parkinson’s disease and are aware of the challenges they and their caregivers face every day. Many are in need of support. It is essential that Canada continues to invest in research and that services and programs continue to be available, not only in acute care settings but in the community as well. Thank you.