Parkinson’s Awareness Week

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By Charles Fraser, Senior Solicitor and Head of the Older and Vulnerable Client team

It is difficult to turn on any news program, or read any newspaper whether in paper or online format and not see headlines about Coronavirus or Covid-19.

Whilst on 23 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced the strict Stay at Home message the previous day the Government had already announced that they were introducing more vigorous shielding measures for 1.8 million people in the UK. All those affected were those who were at a very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus due to underlying health conditions. Interestingly, Parkinson’s was not listed as a condition.

The advice for people with Parkinson’s, however, is for them to stay at home and generally treat themselves as if they were part of the extremely vulnerable group.

By staying at home and isolating themselves by stopping all face to face contact they reduce the chances of catching Coronavirus. Whilst someone with Parkinson’s does not have a higher risk of catching Coronavirus than anyone else, they do have an increased risk of developing a severe illness if they do catch Coronavirus. The main reason for this is that people with Parkinson’s are more prone to pneumonia and infections. Parkinson’s can also cause respiratory issues for some people and since Coronavirus affects lungs and airways, people with Parkinson’s can be described as being at greater risk of severe illness if they catch Coronavirus.

The symptoms of Coronavirus are quite different from the main symptoms of Parkinson’s which are basically described as involuntary shaking of a particular part of the body, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles. With Coronavirus, symptoms are usually a fever and a dry cough which usually starts with a high temperature and then the continuous cough which can lead to a shortness of breath.

Self-isolation may affect that person’s mental wellbeing and lead to a greater need for support from friends and family from afar.

Certain clients are being prompted to ensure that all their affairs are up to date making amendments to, or setting up new Wills, Living Wills, or Lasting Powers of Attorney in case anything should happen to them in the future. For further advice on any of these matters please contact Charles Fraser.

Charles Fraser is a Senior Solicitor and Head of the Older and Vulnerable client team within the Private Client Practice Department at Longmores Solicitors LLP.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.