One of the first questions a newly-diagnosed person will likely ask is, “How long will I be able to work?” While the diagnosis of Parkinson’s doesn’t necessarily call for early retirement, it does require that you look at how you can best do your job and minimize work-related stress. 

Employment with PD: Working it Out

Job Performance

In looking at how you do your job, consider the following:

  • Make an outline of your overall responsibilities
  • Break each area down into specific tasks
  • Consider whether or not your symptoms will interfere with your ability to carry out each task
  • Look for other ways of doing things
  • Create a schedule that enables you to address difficult or challenging tasks during your peak performance periods
  • Set aside specific hours for time-consuming efforts like writing reports

Disclosing to your Employer

The issue of when and what to tell your employer is very much a personal decision depending upon your condition and personality as well as your employment situation. In many states, it is a legal requirement for employers to accommodate a person with a disability.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Can you keep your symptoms from your employer?
  • Are you working on a project that you want to finish before telling your employer?
  • Should you tell your employer so that they have adequate time to plan how to accommodate you in the work place?