Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A couple of months ago, a very good friend sent us a newspaper clipping of a program offered in her area for Parkinson's Patients. It is called Big And Loud.
I immediately got on the good "ole" internet and researched the program to see if we had one here. YES!!!
Big and Loud is conducted on a one-on-one basis with an Occupational Therapst and a Speech/Language Therapist. Parkinson's suffers usually walk in tiny little steps and are not good at picking up their feet for each step - thus the name "Parkinson's Shuffle." This program is to re-train the brain to take BIG steps to help improve or maintain balance and hopefully avoid falling from not picking up your feet. It should help prevent some accidents down the road, and give the patient much needed exercise. Don has already learned how to get himself off the floor should he fall. He lays down on the floor and has to roll over onto his knees. Sounds simple right? Well, try it sometime - especially if you are over 70!
The Loud portion is handled by a Speech/Language Therapist. It should help improve the sound of Don's voice. Parkinson's patients quite often have very soft voices that don't project well as the disease does affect muscles - including throat muscles. This should also help later on with swallowing, etc.
Don is into week 3 of Big And Loud, enjoys the sessions, and has been working very hard at home on his own. I can already tell he is walking straighter and talking louder. He's tired out by the end of the day but is very dedicated at getting his exercises in twice a day - no matter what! It is an intense program as he meets with the Therpists for 1 hour Monday thru Friday.
I'm so thankful that @Katiebella2's mom happened to see the information in her local paper and told us about. I'm a little ticked that Don's doctor didn't mention it. He knew about the program because I asked him about it when Don had his appointment a month ago or so. Don needed a referral in order to participate and the doctor did give Don the referral. He did make the comment that several of his patients did well on the program. He might not have mentioned it because it is a program not offered by his hospital group. Don has to go to another hospital group to participate. Fortunately, we have the health plan where we can go anywhere.
If you or a loved one have Parkinson's I highly recommend checking into this program. It can only help - even if it helps only a tiny bit - it's worth doing.
I'm going to try to get on a schedule of posting once a week and get around to visit you every day or two. It's a goal anyway.
We've cooled off considerably. In fact we're having perfect weather - 70's and very low humidity. ha ha - I'm a very happy camper!
Until next time,