Living with Neurodegenerative Disease: Fostering Social Connection in a Time of Social Distancing

Lesson Description

In the pre-COVID era, social isolation was responsible for more disease burden in aging adults than smoking on a daily basis or obesity. Social isolation and loneliness are also significant risk factors for depression, anxiety and cognitive dysfunction. The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a spotlight on this societal malady. A proactive approach to support aging populations who are socially isolated is essential. Identifying people that are at risk for loneliness and keeping them socially connected while remaining physically distanced is vital. In this session, we describe strategies to combat social isolation and loneliness. We will incorporate practices to help with resilience to foster brain health. These practices are particularly helpful for people living with neurodegenerative disease and their caregivers. Caregiver burn out is a major concern in the current global pandemic. Caregivers of special needs children and of patients with chronic neurodegenerative disease are alone in their homes without respite, working around the clock to care for their loved ones. Brief, practical tips and practices for selfcare will be highlighted.

Instructor: Indu Subramanian MD

Dr. Indu Subramanian received her medical degree in 1996 from the University of Toronto, Canada. She did her neurology residency and Movement Disorders fellowship training at UCLA. Dr. Subramanian has stayed on at UCLA and is now a Clinical Professor of Neurology. She established the movement disorder clinic at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration and has assumed the position of the Director of the South West PADRECC (Parkinson Disease Research, Education and Clinical Care) Center of Excellence in Parkinson Disease. She has developed a strong interest in integrative medicine with a special interest in Yoga and Mindfulness. She underwent a 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2015 with Annie Carpenter and studied mindfulness at the VA under the direction of J.G.Serpa and Christian Wolfe through Insight LA. She is designing a yoga teacher training program for yoga instructors who are interested in working with PD patients. Dr. Subramanian recently got board certified in Integrative medicine. She is also passionate about palliative care in Parkinson Disease.