As you heard from the news, the new Covid-19 virus currently is affecting many countries. Therefore, we compiled some advice on how you can take general precautions for yourself and the people around you. We have also created a dedicated “frequently asked questions” section to answer questions that people with Parkinson’s disease may have.
Most important: Please remain calm and listen to the authorities. There is no reason for excessive shopping or other extreme reactions. The World Health Organization constantly monitors the situation and is providing general information on the virus. Additionally, the Luxembourg Ministry of Health informs about local developments and measures in Luxembourg.
People are considered vulnerable if they are over 65 years old and suffering from pre-existing condition such as diabetes, cancer, cardio-vascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases. These groups should follow the same instructions as the rest of the population and stay at home as much as possible. Here are the specific additional precautionary measures for vulnerable people:
- Go shopping outside of peak hours
- Delay non-necessary travels
- Avoid large events and gathering spaces, confined spaces, large crowds (at cinemas, concert halls, sports venues) and places where you are not able to keep a security distance of at least 1 to 2 meters
- Avoid public transportation as much as possible
In line with these recommendations, we advise you to limit physical contact with other people as much as possible. However, you can and should still be in contact with your friends and family via phone, emails and other media as much as you feel appropriate. If possible, you should also keep moving around at home in order to stay fit. Remember that you are not alone – and we can handle this together as a community!
Does Parkinson’s disease increase the risk to get infected with coronavirus?
For people with Parkinson’s, there is no increased risk of catching the virus. At the more advanced stages of Parkinson’s, the risk of complications slightly increases if you are affected by the coronavirus or any other virus.
Do Parkinson’s patients have to take any special measures?
Generally, no. However, you should follow the recommendations given by the Ministry of Health to protect yourself (see section ‘Protection’ on the ministry webpage). As elderly people have a higher chance of developing more severe symptoms, this might be of particular importance for some Parkinson’s patients.
What shall I do about my upcoming appointment with my treating physician?
If there is no immediate need from your side, the appointment should be postponed. Prescriptions for your medication can be done by your treating physician and sent at your home address via post. If you have any concerns, call your treating physician first.
Should I go to my usual appointment with my physiotherapist, occupational/speech and language/etc. therapist?
No. Discuss with your therapist via phone to get some advice and learn exercises that can be done at home. Some examples of exercises that you can do at home can be found in the following videos (Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy)
Should I ask my physiotherapist, or any other therapist, to come to my home instead?
All physical contacts should be avoided. Therefore, we would not recommend asking your therapist to do home visits. Please consider doing some exercises on your own instead (Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy). Physiotherapist Virginie Pechon, member of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, has created several videos with exercises that can be done at home. Please note that these exercises do not replace your normal physiotherapy sessions. In addition, please do only the exercises you feel comfortable doing.
Should I be worried about running out of medication?
No, you don’t have to. If you are running out of your Parkinson-medication, you should contact your treating physician (general practitioner or neurologist) to get a prescription. You can then ask people in your surroundings to pick up your medication from the pharmacy. Several initiatives are taking shape in Luxembourg to help people who have to stay home with important errands. See below the different possibilities to get medication delivered to your house. In case your treating physician is Prof. Rejko Krüger, you can call directly the Parkinson Research Clinic in order to acquire the prescription: 4411-4848.
Are deep brain stimulated patients more susceptible to Covid-19?
There is no scientific evidence supporting this idea. General information for elderly population or at risk population is given on the website of the Ministry of Health.
The Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (sold e.g. under name Plaquenil) is currently tested for its efficacy to treat COVID-19. Should I already get a prescription?
No. Hydroxychloroquine is still under testing and the efficacy of this drug in the disease caused by COVID-19 is not yet clear, neither the prophylactic effect (meaning protective effect before getting the disease) has been proven. This medication should not be in any case self-administered or hoarded. In case you are affected by COVID-19, please be assured that the therapy with this medication will be considered by your treating physician depending on the outcomes of the ongoing clinical trials.
If you have been asked not to leave your house for a certain period of time, here are some recommendations on how you can find help for your everyday life:
- Even if you have to stay home, you can still stay active. You can start an exercise routine online for free via Zoom (Tai chi, chair exercises, or yoga) offered by Paco. To help you get set up, you can contact Paco via email or via phone (+352 621 190 912).
- Physiotherapist Virginie Pechon, member of ParkinsonNet Luxembourg, has created several videos with exercises that can be done at home. Please note that these exercises do not replace your normal physiotherapy sessions. In addition, please do only the exercises you feel comfortable doing.
- Do you feel lonely or depressed because of the overall situation? You have the impression that no one is available to help you right now? There is a new hotline you could call to communicate your worries and get answers to your questions. Consultation is available in 5 languages: English, French, German, Portuguese and Luxemburgish. Simply call +352 20 60 04 65 30 (Monday to Saturday, 9-18h).
- Patients can now access their doctors via Telemedicine. This is new and it is paid by the CNS. You can find further information on the procedure online.
- People over 65 years old can order their groceries and have them delivered either by going to https://corona.letzshop.lu/de or calling 80029292
There are several associations which offer help for grocery shopping, walking your dog and general errands. Click on the names below for further information.
- GoldenMe Luxembourg
Organizational questions linked to the Luxemburg Parkinson Study are answered directly by the Parkinson Research Clinic: 4411-4848 (Mon – Fri, 8:30 – 17:00, Linda HANSEN).
No appointment will take place for the next two weeks and until further notice.
You can find more information on this topic also on other corresponding websites:
More information from the Ministry of Health: