Living With Early Onset Parkinson's

Making lifestyle choices that promote health and wellness can combat early symptoms of Parkinson's disease and make a tremendous difference in quality of life for people with young onset, or early onset Parkinson's disease.

Until a cure for Parkinson's disease is found, remaining strong and healthy is the goal. Fortunately, younger people with PD are usually less fragile and have fewer co-existing medical issues than older people with the disease and are often able to stay active for many years.

Empower yourself to utilize every tool at your disposal. Exercising, eating right and expanding your treatment team periodically to include complementary therapies can decrease pain and stiffness, keep you feeling better longer, and may even slow the progression of the disease. Learn more about early onset Parkinson's disease symptoms, treatments, and maintaining relationships and employment on our What You Should Know page.


No longer simply recommendations, regular exercise and finding a balanced diet for Parkinson's are considered to be primary and essential aspects of Parkinson's disease treatment and will help keep your body and mind strong.


Utilizing highly specialized health professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists can greatly enhance your quality of life.


Understand the impact chronic illness can have on relationships with your friends, partner/spouse, children and family members and how to manage it.


Explore career issues, if and when you should tell your employer of your diagnosis, and arrangements your employer may be required to make on your behalf. It is not only possible to work with young onset Parkinson's disease, it is probable. Most people who were working prior to diagnosis continue to work for some period of time afterwards.

"How long will I be able to work?" This is usually the more difficult question to answer. The length of time each person continues working will depend on many different factors. Some will be related to the disease itself such as symptoms, medication side effects, or progression of the disease; others are likely to be environmental factors including the overall economy and your particular employer. Learn More.


Educate yourself about the application process for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and how to qualify for Medicare.


Discover the different types of insurance, your options after diagnosis, government plans as well as options for the uninsured.


Consider some of the most important planning issues including budgeting, estate planning, powers of attorney, living wills and guardianship.


Because stress can exacerbate symptoms, it is imperative for people with Parkinson's to utilize stress management techniques, especially around employment and financial issues.