Virtual support groups
With Parkins(on)line, Gerald Ganglbauer of the Ultimo Support Group introduces a new “virtual” support group social network. He’s put it all in the name: The group’s topic is Parkinson’s, everyone is online and shares this Parkinson-line with a small group of other people with Parkinson’s who are on (not off…) for a chat at their PC, Mac, Smart Phone or iPad, be it at home or on the road, day or night.
Yes, everyone in the group lives with Parkinson’s disease, but everyone is also online (without the need to have a degree in Information Technology) and connects in a private chat room on Skype 24/7 in real time – whenever at least two members are logged in at the same time. They socialise, swap stories, discuss their medication, and together share the burden of a chronic progressive movement disorder.
Gerald introduced Skype IM (Instant Messaging) groups for people living with Parkinson’s last year in Austria, where some groups are now running since August and never went quiet for a single day. Places are limited, therefore group members gather from a particular region, and some groups also organise face-to-face meetings as well.
To join a group, go online, download Skype for Windows, Mac OS or Linux – or get the application for your Smart Phone or iPad. Then connect with one of our hosts so they can add you as a new member to the private group IM. It’s by invitation only – so there are no intruders. And Skype offers other uses too, like video or audio calls.
Join the group IM
- Download Skype for free at www.skype.com (there is no need for extra hardware like microphone or speakers if you use it for IM only).
- In your privacy preferences select "Allow messges from Anyone".
- Connect with gerald.ganglbauer or one of our local hosts for your personal invitation to be added to a Parkins(on)line group.