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July Parkinson's Spotlight

Learn more about Linda Powers

July Parkinson's Spotlight

Linda is a native New Yorker, growing up in Manhattan and Long Island. Linda and her husband eventually made their way to the Adirondacks to enjoy hiking, camping, snowmobiling, boating, canoeing, and more. She spent her professional career working as an administrative assistance, business administrator, word processing and basic computer instructor, human resources manager, and a care manager for a senior care company. Interestingly, Linda believes she learned the importance of organization and details from her very first job as an assistant to a secretary at a prestigious law firm.

Linda used those skills to earn herself a Bachelor’s Degree in education and a Master’s Degree in in

Business and Policy Studies while working full-time. Impressive!

Linda refers to her last job as her “retirement job” but shared it was her most rewarding job. She assessed potential senior clients to determine what care they need and helped them design a daily care plan. She used her empathy to help the older adults and their families impacted by congestive heart failure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.

Linda will never forget the day the neurologist said to her husband “You have Parkinson’s disease.” “You sort of freeze, like on a hot summer day when you take a gulp of an ice cold drink. Immediate brain freeze and the body went along” Linda shared. Linda said she tried to protect her husband from knowing all about the symptoms as she knew a lot of information from her job. Linda said that as other friends and acquaintances became connected to PD in some way, she began to share her knowledge around Parkinson’s. Linda commonly heard comments like “why didn’t my doctor tell me that?” which led to her

frustration and astonishment around the lack of education people were receiving when diagnosed. Linda wanted to help and wanted to be that person who was there after the diagnosis to help them navigate their new reality.

In August of 2023, Linda participated in a roundtable with Congressman Tonko on “Faces of Parkinson’s” and in September/October she was invited by the Advocacy Outreach Coordinator for the Michael J. Fox Foundation to participate in their effort to encourage Congress woman Elise Stefanik to support the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act.

Linda learned that there wasn’t a Parkinson’s support group in Warren or Washington County and she wanted to start her own group. Linda contacted Marie, the leader of the Saratoga Support Group for guidance and quickly became energized by Marie’s enthusiasm. Linda was able to secure a space in the Glens Falls Rehab Center and the group was up and running in October of 2023. Group currently meets in the Learning Center at Glens Falls Hospital.

Linda shared that the support group has many regular attendants who feel at ease and comfortable with the other members. Many have shared their stories and experiences with PD. Linda, and she believes many others, leave each meeting feeling uplifted. “I enjoy helping others, lending an empathetic ear and heart” Linda shared.

Linda said her husband now needs a walker when going out in the community, which has led her to be a “rebel rouser.” Many of you can agree to her feeling that personnel responsible for museum and hotel compliance believe they are ADA compliant, but they are mistaken. Linda takes it upon herself to contact those in charge, have in-depth conversations about their non-compliance and later follow up to see if changes have been made. I think I can speak for everyone when I say thank you Linda!!!

To Linda, living well with PD is doing your best each day, exercising your brain and body, and bring joy, laughter, and friendship into your daily life.

Advice from Linda:

Create your own personal road map for yourself and care partner – plan activities, set goals for your

journey with Parkinson’s.

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