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Everett

Working with Parkinson's?

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I'm 57 and have been diagnosed based on tremor and a DAT Scan that looked "somewhat abnormal." I've had a limited tremor in the left hand (rest, postural and motion) for over three years, but no other discernible symptoms (at least discernible to me or family and friends). I exercise five times a week (aerobic and weights), feel fine, and am currently on no meds, though I do accept the diagnosis. I'd like to keep working into my early 60s at least since I enjoy my work. Work is only a five mile commute on local roads, not physically hard and has few moments of real stress. I'd greatly appreciate any thoughts people with experience have as to how realistic my goal is.

Thank you.     

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Hi Everett,

Based on everything you wrote, I would bet that you have an excellent chance of working well into your 60s.  Sounds like you are doing everything right and your job conditions are ideal.  My own experience has taught me that not moving makes most symptoms worse.  Good luck.  Gardener

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Everett:

From what I understand, a diagnosis of Parkinson's is generally not by itself a disabling diagnosis, so if you don't feel disabled, keep working as long as you can, and most of all, keep exercising!  Keep moving.

How realistic is it that Parkinson's symptoms won't suddenly escalate before you are ready to stop working?  Not sure if anyone could say, so I would consider investigating purchasing a Private Long-Term Disability Insurance policy.  It generally provides for partial salary continuation until one turns 65-years of age in the event of a disabling injury or illness.  While many employers provides such an insurance policy as a job benefit, employer purchased policies generally are not as good as a policy bought privately by the individual employee.  It's complicated and has to do with federal regulations of 401K retirement accounts that apply to employer purchased policies but not to employee purchased policies.  A reputable insurance agent should be able to explain the pros and cons.

If your symptoms do slowly increase over the years, there may be herbal supplements that could benefit you and delay the onset for the need of medications or further medical interventions.  Talk with your MDS, maybe there are some supplements that if started now could even delay further symptoms or complications.

Other than that, remember to always get a good night's sleep.

Cheers.

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Thanks for the encouragement. I'm certainly going to try and stay active.

BigRingGrinder: I was under the impression you can't get a Private Long-Term Disability Insurance policy once you have a diagnosis of Parkinson's. Is that true?

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Everett:

I don't know what go / no-go criteria the insurance companies use to decide whether to issue a policy to a person who is able to work, but figure that until a person becomes unable to work it can't hurt to ask.  Best to actually ask the various insurance companies.  And even if one should say "no," another might say "yes."  

 

 

 

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PD is usually pretty slow to develop.  I'd say you should keep working just as you have been as long as you can or until you would have retired anyway.  Most likely you'll be fine to keep working until 65 if not older.

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