November 2013 – Parkinson’s Support Group Meetings, Guest Speakers and Programs, Northerna and Central California

Many Northern and Central California Parkinson’s support groups have interesting speakers or programs lined up for November 2013.  Plus I’ve snuck in one SF Film Society screening in the list below — “The Illness and the Odyssey,” which is about an atypical parkinsonism disorder and features neurologist Oliver Sacks.

For support group meeting location, day/time, contact info, and RSVP details (if an RSVP is required or requested) for all Northern and Central CA support groups, see the Stanford Parkinson’s webpage.

What does it mean if a support group you sometimes attend isn’t listed below?  It might mean that the group doesn’t have its regular meeting this month, or the group is having a social event (very likely in November).  Or it might mean that this month’s meeting doesn’t have a guest speaker.  Or it might mean that the guest speaker info didn’t arrive from the group in time to be added here.  Last but not least, it could mean that I messed up.  If you are not a regular attendee of a group, it’s always a good idea to call the group leader to confirm the meeting!  (See the link above for the group leader’s contact info.)

“Happy Halloween!” and “Happy Thanksgiving!”



San Jose – Willow Glen
Friday, 11/1, 10am-noon  (speaker starts about 10:20am)
Guest Speaker:  Karen Nolan, RN, Hospice of the Valley’s Palliative Care Center Silicon Valley, San Jose
Topic:  What is palliative care and how it can be beneficial in managing PD symptoms
RSVP?:  No.

Santa Rosa (Sonoma County)
Saturday, 11/2, 1-3:15pm  (guest speaker is 1-2pm)
Guest Speaker:  Susan Wiegman, physical therapist (PT), Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital
Topic:  Interactive presentation on exercise and balance tips for those with PD
RSVP?:  No.

Monday, 11/4, 10-11am
Guest Speaker:  Chris Evans, RN, MSN, Sacramento POLST Coalition and Dignity Health
Topic:  Medical Decisions When They Count Most
RSVP?:  No.

San Andreas (Calaveras County)
Location change for November only:  Mark Twain Hospital, classrooms 2 and 3 (rear of the hospital)
Tuesday, 11/5, 10am-noon
Program:  Break into two groups — patients and caregivers — for facilitated discussion.  Patient group is to be facilitated by Janet Laird, wellness educator.  Caregiver group is to be facilitated by Peter Carrillo, caregiver life coach.
RSVP?:  No.

Tuesday, 11/5, 1:30-3pm
Program:  Discussion on the topic of preparing for the holidays.  Plus Tom Schulz demonstrates the crafting of walking sticks.
RSVP?:  No.

Santa Cruz
Wednesday, 11/6, 12:30-2pm
Guest Speakers:  Amanda Stallings, Mai Tran, and Sarah Stafford, CVS pharmacists
Topic:  Drug interactions with Parkinson’s medications, vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter medications.  Plus there will be a flu shot clinic.
RSVP?:  No.

Wednesday, 11/6, 1:30-3pm
Guest Speakers:  Randy and Kathy Hobbs, physical therapists (PT), Healthy U, Chico
Topics:  Exercise routines that build up your pelvic floor and prevent incontinence. And strategies for overall health and wellness.
RSVP?:  No.

San Lorenzo (San Leandro)
Thursday, 11/7, 10-11:30am
Guest Speaker:  Gary Turchin, poet and PD activist
RSVP?:  No.

Friday, 11/8, 1:30-3pm
Program:  New facilitator, Kim Hawkins, to present info from recent PANC conference and from Rite Aid Wellness Ambassador
RSVP?:  No.

Saturday, 11/9, 10am-noon
Guest:  Debi Clancy, RN, president, SF Bay Area Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
Topic:  Hospice care and how to find a good hospice place
RSVP?:  No.

Yuba City (Tri-County)
Monday, 11/11, 1-2pm
Guest Speaker:  Catherine McGregor, RN, Sacramento Area POLST Coalition
Topics:  Medical decisions, treatment preferences, and ideas for talking with your family about medical issues
RSVP?:  No.

El Dorado Hills
Tuesday, 11/12, noon-2pm
Guest Speaker:  George Johnston
Topic:  Report from World Parkinson’s Congress
RSVP?:  No.

Palo Alto Young Onset (diagnosed at age 50 or younger)
Tuesday, 11/12, 6:30-8pm
Program:  Discussion on the topic of “How is PD affecting your plans for the holidays?”
RSVP?:  Yes, an RSVP is required only if you are attending this meeting for the first time.

Palo Alto
Wednesday, 11/13, 2-3:30pm
Program:  Discussion in small groups facilitated by Janis Cooper, LCSW, and Emily Farber, MSW, both with Avenidas Care Partners, Palo Alto
RSVP?:  No.

Thursday, 11/14, 1:30-3pm
Guest Speaker:  Gary Turchin, poet, artist, storyteller and PD activist
Topic:  “Creativity, Poetry, and the PD Journey — New Work and Words”
RSVP?:  No.

Thursday, 11/14, 1:30-3pm
Program:  Discussion on the topic of “Taking responsibility for managing the different facets of our self-care and using other support group members’ input to help do that”
RSVP?:  No.

San Francisco DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation)
Thursday, 11/14, 6-8pm
Guest Speakers:  Joey Laus, speech-language pathologist, and James Curtis, fellow in speech-language pathology, UCSF Voice and Swallowing Center
Topic:  “Think Loud and Be Proud:  Introduction to LSVT”
RSVP?:  Yes, preferred but not required.

Walnut Creek
Saturday, 11/16, 10am-noon  (speaker is from 11am-noon)
Guest Speaker:  Melanie Brandabur, MD, movement disorder specialist, The Parkinson’s Institute, Sunnyvale
Topic:  Non-motor symptoms of PD
RSVP?:  No.

Sacramento Post-DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation)
Monday, 11/18, 10am-noon
Program:  Discussion of DBS and PT
RSVP?:  Yes, required.

Tuesday, 11/19, 10-11am
Guest Speaker:  George Johnston, board member, PANC
Topic:  World Parkinson’s Congress
RSVP?:  No.

Tuesday, 11/19, 1:30-2:30pm
Guest Speaker:  Christine Grmolyes, Senior Care Solutions, Fair Oaks
Topic:  “When is it time for assisted living or nursing care?”
RSVP?:  No.

San Jose – The Villages
Tuesday, 11/19, 2-3:30pm
Guest Speaker:  Berna Sanayei, DDS, dentist
Topic:  “Things PD patients should consider when you visit a dentist”
RSVP?:  Required if you are not a resident of The Villages.  Contact group leader in advance about access.

San Jose – Berryessa
Wednesday, 11/20, 1-2:30pm
Guest Speaker:  Megan Bowers, RN, The Parkinson’s Institute
Topic:  Sleep and PD
RSVP?:  No.

Sunnyvale DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation)
Wednesday, 11/20, 2-3:30pm  (Note time change for November meeting only)
Guest Speaker:  Camilla Kilbane, MD, movement disorder specialist, Stanford University
Topics:  Programming, technical operation and electromechanics of DBS system
RSVP?:  No.

Thursday, 11/21, 10am-noon
Guest Speaker:  Thomas Bryan, MD, neurologist, Merced
RSVP?:  No.

Thursday, 11/21, 1:30-3pm
Program:  Speech and articulation exercises, using John Argue’s DVD
RSVP?:  No.

Sacramento – Arden Arcade
Friday, 11/22, 10am-noon
Guest Speaker:  Warren Hutson
Topics:  His experience with stem cell therapy, hyperbaric pressure, water drops, and metal in teeth fillings removed
RSVP?:  No.

San Francisco
Location:  Roxie Theater (16th and Mission)
Sunday, 11/24, 7-8:30pm
Screening of the new film “The Illness & The Odyssey,” featuring Dr. Oliver Sacks and New Yorker science writer Jonathan Weiner.  The “illness” is an atypical parkinsonism disorder called Lytico-Bodig that occurs on Guam among the indigenous Chamorros.  The “odyssey” is “through the history, science and personalities of this high-stakes hunt.”  Tickets can be purchased at the San Francisco Film Society website.

Mill Valley (Marin County)
Tuesday, 11/26, 1-3pm (speaker is from 1-2pm)
Guest Speaker:  Mary DeMay, psychiatrist, UCSF’s Memory & Aging Center
Topic:  Depression and PD
RSVP?:  No.