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European Parkinson's Disease Association
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For how long should I continue working?

How long you continue working will partly depend on the degree to which Parkinson’s affects your ability to carry out your role.  You should not assume that you can no longer work.  In fact some people find that keeping busy and continuing work helps them to manage the disease more successfully.  But if you have a particularly active or demanding job you may find it harder to continue at the same pace.   

If symptoms or medication side effects begin to interfere with work you may need to review your treatment with your doctor.  If they make it potentially dangerous to continue in your present job (for example driving a truck), you may need to ask about moving to another position within the company.

A personal perspective

Rasma Zlatkuviene, Lithuania

“I retired after working 37 years as an English Language school teacher. ‘When God closes a door, He opens a window’ and for five years I had lived behind that closed door fighting with fear, Depression and hopelessness.  The open window came from my true friends in local, national and international Parkinson’s associations with whom I share not only my skills and ideas, but also my heart."

What if I am self-employed?

If you are self-employed you should ask similar questions but obviously you have to make the decisions that an employer would make.  

It is worth remembering that in some countries the laws regarding the retirement of people who are self-employed are not always as generous as for those who are salaried.  You may therefore want to think about taking out insurance to protect your revenue or become employed so as to benefit from more generous social security schemes as a salaried worker.

Did you know?

A century ago people in the UK worked, on average, more than 50 hours each week.  This fell to around 35 hours by the end of the 1970s due to higher productivity and the rise of part-time working as more women too on jobs.  This has since crept up: according to the Office of National Statistics, in 2008 full-time workers averaged 37 hours a week.