Employers should know that people with young onset Parkinson’sare still the same person however we may need some assistance to be able to preform our job as before. It could be less hours or a change in duties. I have been working with young onset Parkinson’s for 3 years and I am still working. I feel supported by mydirect manager and co-workers. Not some from other departments. The most debilitating issues with regards to my working capacity are fatigue/lack of sleep, muscle stiffness/rigidity, anxiety and depression, pain, speech and communication. There is not one time of the day that I find more difficult than other times. Strategies that may be helpful to support me to stay in the workforce longer could include flexibility to work around fluctuating symptoms, enhanced employer understanding of the impacts of young onset Parkinson’s, modified work space, a hands free phone, reduced hours and working from home. A formal process was undertaken to determine my work capacity and support requirements. If I find I can’t handle something they’ll arrange for someone else to do the process.
Disclosure of young onset Parkinson’s to your employer would all depend on your employer and employment status. I disclosed soon after diagnosis. They were very compassionate. I did confirm my rights under FWA.