The Lismore Support Group is led by Di Lymbury – a transplant six years ago from the Hunter Valley-Newcastle Support Group.
The Lismore Group had been led by a local Occupational Therapist, Anthony Zuill. However, the Group had lapsed by the time Di arrived.
Di lives with Parkinson’s herself, having been diagnosed 14 years ago. She decided to contact Parkinson’s NSW to ask for support in re-igniting the Lismore Support Group – and was ultimately successful in doing so with the support of Anthony.
Today, the Group has 15 regular participants ranging in age from their 50’s to 80’s, and who are at many different stages of progression in their Parkinson’s.
“I really feel the group is run by the members,” said Di. “Both carers and those living with Parkinson’s are brilliant and inspirational. They have so much to give to each other and they are what makes this such a great Group.
Carers are a huge part of our Group. We value them highly and each year we try to have a Carer Appreciation Day where the focus is on them.
We have a regular schedule of alternating formal and casual meetings. Our casual meetings are coffee catchups, and our more structured meetings include guest speakers. We are very lucky in our area to have access to a wide variety of interesting speakers.”
We also make sure to schedule sharing time where our participants can confidentially ask questions, and exchange tips and information. This is where friendships are developed and we can relate to one another as human beings who are all facing similar challenges,” said Di.
The Lismore Support Group is publicised in the local community via the Lismore Regional Parkinson’s Support Group page, as well the local free paper and on local radio.
However, the Group is looking for more opportunities to expand and connect with others in the community – especially during the COVID-19 restrictions – because some of its current and potential participants are not Internet users.