We’re all living a bit differently at the moment, as Stay at Home rules continue during this pandemic. With April being Parkinson’s disease Awareness Month, it’s important to focus on living life to the fullest even in these restrictive times.
Bethesda works with people living with Parkinson’s disease by providing specific fitness exercises, focused outpatient therapy, skilled home-health services, professionally led monthly support groups, and adult day service.
“We have a Parkinson’s-friendly fitness facility at Bethesda,” said Melissa Wentzel, Bethesda Wellness Director. “We’ve had specialized training in working with people with Parkinson’s.”
Unfortunately, due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), most of our programs are temporarily on hold. Nevertheless, our commitment to working with people living with Parkinson’s and supporting their caregiver remains, and we will resume activities as we are able because we believe it’s important to live well with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects a person’s movement and other aspects of daily life. The disease is progressive, and symptoms generally develop slowly over years, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Symptoms can include tremor, Bradykinesia (slowness of movement), limb rigidity, and gait and balance problems.
Although there is no cure, treatment options vary based on each person’s symptoms and include medication, surgery, and lifestyle modifications such as getting more rest and exercise.
The cause of Parkinson’s remains unknown. While Parkinson’s itself is not fatal, disease complications can be serious. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year.
“The need is out there for Parkinson’s-related services. Bethesda will continue to address the needs of our community by providing services, support and programs to help people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers,” Wentzel said.
What Bethesda is able to provide on a limited basis:
Bethesda at Home provides customized, quality medical and personal, home health-care services in the comfort of your home. We work with you to come up with a plan of care that fits your needs. Our trained caregivers help with daily living and health care needs such as medication setup and reminders. Our home health aides assist with personal cares such as bathing, dressing or an exercise program. Our homemaker services provide light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, meal preparation and companionship. Services at this time are limited due to the pandemic. For information, click here.
What Bethesda offers but has temporarily closed or postponed due to COVID-19:
Club Bethesda – Club Bethesda is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise machines that are specifically geared toward older adults. Certified instructors lead classes that can help improve fitness, balance and flexibility, as well as build muscle strength. Additional fitness classes such as water aerobics and aqua cycling take place in our warm-water pool. For information, click here.
Parkinson’s Boxing – While any form of exercise is beneficial to people living with Parkinson’s, our boxing class is an exercise class geared specifically to people with Parkinson’s. The classes are group sessions that incorporate coordination and cognitive drills, high-interval training, and boxing.
Outpatient therapy – Therapy takes place with highly trained physical, occupational and speech therapists. Our speech therapists work with people to strengthen vocal chords, speech and swallowing skills. Our physical and occupational therapists work with people on fine and gross motor control development, strength, balance, coordination, as well as hand therapy and cognitive skills. For information, click here.
DayBreak – Our adult day services program provides a safe location for people, who live at home but require extra support, to come for daily activities and care, while at the same time giving caregivers a respite. For information, click here.
Parkinson’s Support Group – Our Parkinson’s Support Group is specifically designed for people experiencing difficulties with Parkinson’s disease, as well as for their family members or special friends looking for support and the opportunity to share on topics of interest. For information, click here.
Caregiver’s Support Group – Our Caregiver’s Support Group is for all caregivers seeking information and wanting to share in both the joys and sorrows related to the care-giving experience. For information, click here.
Bethesda is committed to staying up to date on Parkinson’s and treatment methods through ongoing training and continuing education and certification programs. In addition, Bethesda partners with Struthers Parkinson’s Center in the Twin Cities, which provides specialized training for our nurses and other direct-care staff.
For information about the services Bethesda provides related to Parkinson’s and how we can help you or your loved one, call our Welcome Center at (320) 214-5643.
For information about Parkinson’s disease, visit: