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Ronald Sollish (
Maddin, Hauser
28400 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 359-6176

Source Event: Attorneys Forum (08-Mar-04)
Category: Employment/Disability
Date Stamp: 08-Mar-04

Click on the following link to view the details of this article. 
icon Legal and Financial Issues Faced by PD Patients


For discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act ((ADA), contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
HQ; 1801 L ST, NW, Washington, DC 20507; Ph: 202.663.4900; URL:

Detroit: Patrick V McNamara Bldg, 477 Michigan, Rm 865, Detroit 48226, Ph: 313.226.4600;
800.669.4000; FAX: 313.226.4610; Hours: M - F, 8 - 4:30

For Disability Programs: Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI); Supplemental
Security Income (SSI); Medicaid, contact the Social Security Administration (SSA);
Local office locations: Ph: 800.772.1213; Hours: M - F, 7-7; URL:


For Disability discrimination under the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, contact the Michigan Dept of Civil Rights (MDCR):
Detroit: Detroit Service Center, Cadillac Place, 3054 W grand blvd, Ste 3-600, Detroit, MI 48202;
Ph: 3113.456.3700; FAX: 313.456.3701; URL:

For Disability programs including State Disability assistance (SDA), contact the Family
Independence Agency (FIA); URL
Macomb Co: 19700 Hall Rd Suite A, Clinton twp, MI 48038; Ph: 586.412.6100
Oakland Co: 41000 Woodward Ave, Stoneridge East Suite 200, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304;
Wayne Co: 3040 W

Source: Carmine Perrotta (
Adams, Perrotta and Williams, PC
300 Maple Park Blvd suite 302
St Clair Shores, MI 48081
(586) 777-5400

The Messenger - Fall 2011 Issue.

Jeffrey Appel, an attorney, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation, specializing in disability benefits law. As a Board member, he has focused on helping individuals with Parkinsons obtain benefits such as Social Security Disability benefits. His goal has been to expedite the process to allow individuals to obtain benefits quickly and more efficiently.

With the assistance of the members of the Michigan Parkinson Foundation Professional Advisory Board, he has created two forms that allow an individual to collaborate with their treating physician in the application process, often avoiding the need for a formal hearing. These forms, designed to be filled out by the treating doctor, are designed to assist the physician in providing the necessary medical information to properly document disability. The Professional Advisory Board has reviewed and approved the use of these forms. They will be available for download at the MPF website ( and include a four page Medical Assessment Form, and a one page Medical Statement regarding the "Listing of Impairments for Parkinsons Disease." Any questions regarding the use of these forms can be directed to Jeffrey Appel's email at


Excerpts: Adapted with permission from the Link,

St. Louis APDA, May 2010: Vol. 24, Issue 2

By David Lanson, Always There Home Care

For many, the challenges of caring for a loved one are part of daily life. Caregiving is a demanding, difficult job and no one is equipped to do it alone. Getting help is essential for your own health, and your resilience is critical for your loved one. Respite care provides short term breaks that relieve stress, restore energy, and promote balance in your life...There are many respite care options and strategies.

Respite care basics

Seeking support and maintaining one's own health are key to managing the caregiving years. Using respite before you become exhausted, isolated, or overwhelmed is ideal...Respite can take many forms, but boils down to two basic ideas: sharing the responsibility for caregiving and getting support for you. Finding the right balance requires persistence, patience and preparation.

Planning your relief

As a caregiver, is support what you need most? Some free time? Help with transportation? ...Identifying your loved one's needs, abilities and preferences will also help you find the right match. Social activities? Assistance with walking, eating or medications? Mental stimulation? Exercise? ...

Engaging family members in respite care

Family members and friends may be able to help out while you run an errand, take a break or even go on vacation. However can also be a tough process for families to share. Even the healthiest families can be severely stressed by ongoing care, and the division of labor is frequently lopsided. The following tips can encourage support and participation:

• Talk openly and regularly. Keep everyone up to date on your loved one's needs and condition. Family members who don't share the day-to-day caretaking experience may not fully appreciate the situation.

• Encourage family members to evaluate what they can reasonably and honestly do... Welcome different viewpoints, accept limitations, and be willing to try alternate strategies. Share your list of needs and take advantage of all offers to help.

• Recognize your own feelings and discuss disproportionate tasks. Harboring resentment when you need more help can lead to your burnout and impaired health. Ask directly for concrete support and specific time commitments...

• Try free videoconferencing services to hold family meetings at times that work for everyone. Create a web-based community to share updates and explore options. Sites like keep family and friends online and in touch.

• Participate in support groups. Learning how other families cope can suggest new options and provide reassurance. When siblings are unable or unwilling to share the load, peer support can be invaluable.

In-home respite care

In home services can be provided by a trained caregiver occasionally, or on a regular basis. Services ... may be arranged directly or through an agency. This respite choice enables individuals to remain in their own environments, and can be invaluable for caregivers. Services may include:

• Cognitive stimulation, recreation, and companionship by home-care businesses providing trained staff to cover short in-home intervals.

• Personal care providers assisting with daily living skills such as bathing, dressing, feeding or toileting.

• Homemaker services supporting meal preparation, shopping and housekeeping.

Selecting respite care services and providers

Whether you engage a provider directly or work through an agency, you can allay your fears by conducting some basic research. Always include the potential care recipient in the screening process if he or she is able to participate, to ensure that both parties are comfortable and that your loved one's needs are respected. For a detailed guide, you can contact your local Area Agency on Aging, or go to MI Seniors website:

Working with agencies

Although independent providers are generally the least expensive, home care agencies and referral services are often easier to use ... An agency finds and places providers, handles payroll, and usually provides substitutes for sick or absent personnel. If problems occur, you also have specific avenues of recourse... that are not available when working with individuals.

Referral services...match your needs with local program options. Use online registries, check
newspaper ads or the yellow pages to find specialists who know local programs and can help you navigate their systems. (Note: MPF often refers callers to local Area Agencies on Aging
for lists of recommended local agencies).

Paying for respite care

In today's challenging economy, you may think respite services are unattainable. However,
thinking creatively can uncover valuable resources:

• Traditional funding sources for respite care.

• Personal Assets/Insurance: Although medical insurance generally does not include respite
coverage, unless licensed medical professionals are involved, long-term care policies usually
fund services up to specific time or dollar limits.

• Veterans' Benefits: The VA provides inpatient respite coverage for up to 30 days per year for qualified veterans. In addition, when wartime vets care for their spouses, funding for in-home services are available on a state-by-state basis.

Strategies for successful respite care

• Relief and revitalization is not important for you alone: it benefits all touched by the caregiving process.

• Evaluate often. Observe your care recipient before and after respite sessions. Ask for brief
updates and more detailed reports regularly.

• Expect changes. Respite care is a process that often requires fine-tuning. Anticipating and
accepting changes in personnel or programs can keep you from becoming discouraged.

• Attend your support group regularly... You can talk, vent, laugh, and exchange tips with
people who understand.

A note from MPF: For additional information on respite care, download



Carole Briggs has been the Facilitator of the Jackson Support Group since its early days in 2005. A proud graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Nursing, Carole is still active in her field as the Respite Care Coordinator at disability Connection in Jackson. Her husband, John, passed away in 2009. Carole presented the following at the Jackson Support Group's annual Parkinson's Awareness Month special program.

My husband had advanced Parkinson's Disease and I was his caregiver and advocate. We faced this challenge together for more than 15 years. With this mixed blessing came many demands on my time and energy. We continued to grow spiritually, emotionally and in knowledge and came to respect this progressive disease. It is my hope that every individual afflicted with Parkinson's will have a caregiver and/or advocate who will be available to them throughout this often bumpy journey - a journey that is different for everyone in length and severity.

When an individual suffers from Parkinson's disease, it is not just a personal matter but actually affects all members of the family and others close to them. Recent research (Wallhagen and Brod, 1997) suggests that both the patient's and caregiver's sense of well-being is elevated if they perceive that they have the ability to control day to day symptoms. The belief that we as caregivers can make a difference in the day-to-day management of the disease can help reduce our sense of helplessness and depression.

Carole's Helpful Hints for the Caregiver and Person with PD:

  1. Hook up with a good doctor, preferably a neurologist, who can monitor symptoms, recommend current helpful medications and be supportive to the patient and family.

  2. Be flexible and willing to adapt to changing circumstances...prevent complications, such as falls, constipation, contractures, etc.

  3. Identify problems and write them down. Seek help and/or take them to your doctor.

  4. Reach out for help and support from family members and professionals. There are many sources of help: respite services, speech, physical and occupational therapy, home health services, social workers, legal assistance for wills, financial planning.

  5. Seek effective education and knowledge regarding the disease process, prognosis and symptom management. Read everything you can. Go to the library and book stores. Join a support group.

  6. Practice stress management. Plan special time for your self and your person with PD individually - maybe shopping, taking a bike ride, going out for lunch or a movie or a concert.

  7. Be optimistic - keep a sense of humor. Try to avoid negativity and pessimism to lessen depression and isolation. Laugh a lot.

  8. Stay physically active: exercise every day, as tolerated - and I'm speaking to both the person with PD and care partner. Set aside a regular time of day in your normal routine.

  9. Most of all - be patient, and allow the person with PD extra time for all activities and responses - physically and verbally.

  10. Visit community rehab centers (in Jackson - disAbility Connections) to check out adaptive equipment as care needs change. Much is available to rent or try for a short or long term basis. This can help prevent falls and complications - think SAFETY.

At the end of a busy and often tiring day as a 24/7 caregiver, I often prayed this prayer which gave me comfort and strength:

Hear my prayer, oh Lord. Thank you for giving me the privilege of caring for others. Help me to be always kind and loving, and most of all, help me to be more patient. Grace me with the experience of your forgiveness and love so that I can bring it to others. Amen.



Tips provided by Board Member, Anne Hansen

To find the Michigan Parkinson Foundation of Facebook, simply type "Michigan Parkinson Foundation" into the search bar. The MPF fan page should be the first result. There is a link to the right that says "Become a Fan." Just click on that and you're there! Or you can click on the MPF logo and become a fan from there.

Michigan Parkinson Foundation's Facebook page can be used to spread the word to family and friends about the May 22 and May 23 I Gave My Sole for Parkinson's Walk-a-thon and 5K Runs. Here are directions:

  1. Go to the MPF Facebook fan page through your Facebook account.

  2. Click on the link on the upper left of the page "Suggest to Friends." It's right under the MPF logo.

  3. Click on which friends you'd like to invite.

  4. Click on "Send Invitations.

A message will be sent to your selected friends asking them to become a fan.