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Too young, I know what you mean about things that are available to you and the Dr's don't recommend it or just forget to tell you about it. I have done my own research and then I ASK THEM if they think it should be ordered. I am amazed. I love our doctor, and we have to accept that they are SO busy. I called the doctor to tell him that my Partner's urine was way to low. I was concerned as he was drinking. It did not make sense to me. Well, I figured out he is not drinking enough. We are with our patients day in and day out. We know more about them than we do of ourselves. I need to take as good of care of myself as I do my partner. My lesson for today... This site has taught me so much.
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The dance classes mentioned above are reliable. I use them in my practice. The musical portion reaches into the past or stimulates the nervous system for better reaction. The more senses used to reach through the Parkinson veil, the better. The goal of the program is optimum level of function, not reversal of disease.
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Oregongirl, I understand your concern about limited service. The home health therapist should answer the question about how long the sessions will be, course of therapy, and goals. The patient should know what to expect and why therapy is no longer warranted or possible.
Your partner must require skilled intervention, which means a family member assist, significant other assist, or patient himself cannot complete the therapy without a licensed professional. Then, the goals have to be functional, attainable, and measurable. If skilled intervention cannot help the person meet functional goals (i.e the person cannot show improvement even with skilled care), then the home program passes to the patient and/or family to carry out to the degree they can.
Ask the therapist these questions. I am sure they will be glad to help.
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Well I wanted to keep my partner on PT, but evidently, medicare only covers several sessions and then you are released. This week will be his last visit of in home PT. Does anyone know how Medicare works with PT? Can he re-enroll? Why do they limit the sessions?
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This has been very helpful. I have noticed that my Uncle has greatly improved while on PT. I was very impressed because his Doctor said that it would not really help all that much and suggested exercise is perhaps a better option. I also read that once PT stops he can lose all the gain that he made. Is this true? Does the Parkinson s really get worse or does he regress? As for now, he is doing much much better and I hope he can continue with PT (he has 3 weeks left).
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My husband has Lewy Body Dementia, with Parkinson's like symptoms. PT and speech therapy really helped him too, even with the dementia. I just wish I knew about it years earlier. The doctors, who are actually specialists, did suggest it. I had to ask, and when it helped, boy did I give them an earful about how I shouldn't have had to ask. It should have been part of the treatment!
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Sorry - the link for international classes is:

danceforparkinsons./find-a-class/class-locations
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How appropriate that this question was raised when my Internet connection suddenly re-established itself so I could share this exciting news! I decided yesterday when I watched this program that this had to be shared (and no, it's not a commercial.)

Yesterday I watched on PBS a program titled "Capturing Grace", featuring the Morris Dance Group and its adaptations of dance for those with Parkinson's.

The program featured various rehearsals, steps for the various dances, interaction with patients, and the final performance. It was very, very emotional but also one which creates such an abundance of enthusiasm for the dedicated dancers who worked with those who have PD.

One particularly fascinating aspect showed a woman who suffered from tremors in multiple joints; it was impossible for her to remain still. But you should have seen her when she danced - she was a natural! She was so fluid she reminded me of one of the outstanding dancers in CATS.

Some of the people, who apparently had never danced before, were mesmerized by the music and transformed into creating their own movements spontaneously. It was literally that - a transformation. In some, their grace and movements naturally followed those of ballet. Their hands became those of a ballerina, their faces assumed not only a concentration but a look of being captured by music and the grace of dancing. It was mesmerizing.

There now are 100 communities in 11 countries hosting these dance classes.

Hopefully this link won't be deleted, but if it is, google 'Morris Dance Group, Parkinson's Disease": http://danceforparkinsons.org/

A map of where classes can be found is here: c, which lists the countries hosting the program.

In the US, check here: http://danceforparkinsons.org/find-a-class/class-locations/united-states

I haven't been this enthusiastic about specifically oriented program for a long time! If something like this were at Senior Centers, I think it would be wonderful.
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Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy will all enhance the quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Too Many time the only therapy one hears in the media is physical therapy. They do a great job, but Occupational Therapists are prepared to examine areas not explored by the physical therapist that will enhance the quality of life for people who have been diagnosed as having Parkinson's Disease. Be sure to ask the physician for a referral to a licensed Home Health Care Agency that offers all 3 Therapies.
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Definitely, it's one of the reasons hospital stays are so hard on PD patients..no exercise and usually put alarm on their bed so they can't get up w/o causing alarm. Husband's neurologist feels exercise should be 50% of their treatment. I try to make him do exercises between PT sessions and he's better off for it.
Keep it up as long as you can!
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Briscuit, OTJenn, TherapyDoc, etc.- would you be able to contact me? I have boatloads of info to share about Parkinsons folks and their bed mobility problems (and solutions). Often we get stories that match word by word- frequently related to the caregiver/spouse that is ready to crash due to the strain on them.
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Great question. Therapy? Yes! Rotational movements are lost quickly (such as rolling out of bed). Reinstituting hip and knee rolling side to side, clasped hand movements, head turns can help with tasks like getting out of bed. Programs to make cues "Big and Loud" are also beneficial to self-starting rather than external starting from someone else. Please pursue the option
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For my mom, PT helps until she walks out the door.
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Dad has had PD for 15 years now and had NO PT until he moved to NC 2 and a half years ago. He was headed towards a wheelchair when he moved here and now walks 2-3 miles a day (weather permitting) with a caregiver. He wears a gait belt for safety. Medicare will pay for weekly therapy with no cap but you may have to fight for it. I had to discuss with the owner of the PT facility to get this covered but once the therapist is able to complete the paperwork to medicare's satisfaction, there are no problems going forward. I can't stress enough how much better Dad is with the PT.
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Yes! And speech therapy, too! Dad voice was whispery soft for over 6 months. Now his speech is normal. It really works.
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Absolutely, as others (very qualified others!) here have said. My Mom (92) was diagnosed w/ Parkinson's two years ago, and the PT and OT she has had since then have helped immeasurably. She is starting a month of 'BIG therapy' (PT) today. Her neurologist thinks she can benefit from it. I am curious to see how this helps her. She's already had BIG therapy for her voice and achieved great results with that. Google "LSVT BIG" for more info.
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Yes, yes, yes agree with Briscuit. I am an OT and have been for 32 years, working with adults in various settings. Parkinson's is not a static disease, as you know so intervention by both PTs and OTs are good at many junctures. One of the things we are now learning is that cognitive issues happen earlier than we originally thought, so having this area evaluated and how it impacts managing finances and higher level tasks early on is a good idea. OTs look at driving skills also which can be impacted by physical and cognitive limitations.
Caregiver training in middle to late stages is also important part of PT and OT.
Good luck!
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yes, yes, yes. I am a therapist in home health and have been for 35 years. One of my specialties is Parkinson's. Either a PT or an OT can help a great deal, if they are trained in neuro developmental principles. There are a lot of 'tricks' that can help a patient interact with his/her environment with more efficiency. It can help greatly with transfer ability, feeding, ambulation, how to get unstuck when you get stuck, weight shift activities for balance, therapeutic exercise that can minimize functional movement for bed mobility~ you name it. It does not cure, or take away the disease. It helps a great deal in living with the disease. Please pursue!
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Yes. Google 'physical therapy for Parkinson's patients." You'll learn all sorts of interesting information.
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