A Parkinson’s Life: And a Caregiver’s Roadmap, by Jolyon Hallows

Jolyon Hallows is an IT specialist and consultant project manager. His wife Sandra, a nurse and psychologist, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1996. This book describes their lives, and the effects of Parkinson’s on both patient and carer. 

Section 1 covers life before the Parkinson’s diagnosis, and is inter-leaved with units describing aspects of Parkinson’s such as ‘What it is’, ‘Symptoms and Diagnosis’, The ‘Parkinson’s Pharmacy’, ‘Deep Brain Stimulation’, ‘Recent developments’, etc. 

These descriptive units provide a clear and extremely instructive background, giving some understanding of Parkinson’s before you read Section 2 which covers their life with Parkinson’s as the symptoms changed and increased. It  is a vividly courageous account of the many aspects of their lives that were affected, and how they both had to learn to cope with each situation. A wide variety of the treatments required because of the side-effects related to the Parkinson’s are also described. And advice on how to select and deal with treatment providers is given. The account is extremely moving.

In Section 3, he covers the numerous aspects of his caring for Sandra. This required coping with extensive changes, ranging from the slower speed at which their lives had to be lived, to mental and emotional complications. A wide range of major and minor adaptations also became necessary. It is comprehensive, caring and challenging, written to share ‘the things I’ve learned’, and provides much good and wise advice.

The book is well-written and heartfelt. The critical review question is: ‘Who will benefit from reading it?’. 
Jolyon Hallows emphasises that all Parkinson’s cases differ (Sandra’s symptoms were extensive and severe), and he points out that his candid approach in the final sections may well have detrimental effects on patients concerned about the future, as well as on carers. Nevertheless, for carers looking after patients with advanced Parkinson’s symptoms, it could be profitable and reassuring, having been written by someone who understands.

In particular, this book provides an insider’s perspective on A Parkinson’s Life with its effects on other people’s lives. So it would be an extremely educational and valuable resource for the numerous people who are not primary carers, such as friends and family, nursing and care staff, GP’s, volunteers, new staff at Parkinson’s SA, etc. 

‘A Parkinson’s Life: and a Caregiver’s roadmap’  by Jolyon Hallows is available for loan in the Parkinson’s SA library

For every copy of ‘A Parkinson’s Life: and a Caregiver’s roadmap’ that is purchased via this page - Parkinson’s SA will receive 40% of the sales proceeds. This applies to sales of hard copy books and ebooks. 


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