Employers need to take the time to investigate the ups and down of Parkinson’s Disease. It’s been a year since I was forced to resign from my work place due to having PD. It’s been hell because I am only 53. I was diagnosed 9 years ago, and I did not stop until last year. My employer was no support at all. In fact I went to HR due to my boss bullying me, and for 8 months put me through a witch hunt and isolated me from everyone. The most debilitating issues with regards to my working capacity were slowness of movement, muscle stiffness/rigidity, handwriting, speech and communication, tremor/Dyskinesia/Dystonia.

The time of the work day I found the most difficult was always around 3pm – 5pm. Helpful strategies to support me to stay in the workforce longer could have been flexibility to work around fluctuating symptoms, enhanced employer understanding of the impacts of young onset Parkinson’s, modified work space, writing aids such as voice-to-text software to reduce the need to type, a hands free phone, and the option to work from home. There was no formal process undertaken to determine my work capacity and support requirements, and when I felt not a part of the team, I myself inquired about getting support in the work place. I think because I was in the selling of homes, there was no area in the business for people like me. For 4 years I worked for the company, and my employer was aware of my PD.

All I can say is I gave every thing to my employer, and I’m still pissed off that they gave nothing to me. I got a lawyer involved, and once I did that, they lawyered up, and for 8 months put me through allegations which were proven wrong. To me they were using my PD Symptoms in their request to get rid of me. Sorry for showing that I’m still suffering from the job I loved. And because of my PD, no one is going employ me. I do work around the home and help family. One thing always on my mind was that I wouldn’t wish any of their family members getting PD.