PAOLI, PA — According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly 1 million people in the United States are living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and that number is expected to rise to 1.2 million by the year 2030. PD is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s, with nearly 90,000 people diagnosed each year in the U.S. Incredibly, this is up 60,000 from the last time a comprehensive study was conducted.
Age is the primary risk factor for PD, so with more than 10,000 individuals turning 65 each day according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, care and treatment options are critical. Daylesford Crossing, a SageLife senior living community in Paoli, PA, launched a program in April 2022 to care for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. Since its beginning, individuals and families have been extremely pleased with the results.
“When my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was especially challenging to find the best community for his needs. We explored several options, but there were limited choices available. Daylesford Crossing has been great at listening to what he needs. Almost immediately, we worked with one of their specialists to come up with a treatment plan. The support he has received has completely changed his outlook on life,” Liz Borst, whose father Frank Borst has been a resident at Daylesford Crossing since April 2022.
Stabilization, education, and consistent monitoring are key elements of the program, which takes a personalized approach to managing Parkinson’s or movement disorders. The program focuses on developing the seven skills needed to successfully manage symptoms: Healthy Eating; Being Active; Monitoring; Taking Medication; Problem Solving; Risk Reduction; and Healthy Coping.
Each resident has a customized plan. “We take a collaborative approach to caring for residents who are living with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders,” said Kelly Andress, Founder and President of SageLife. “Our specially trained care team partners with the resident, their family, and a multidisciplinary healthcare team in order to achieve the best outcomes for each individual.”
“Our goal is to help our residents with Parkinson’s regain their independence. For example, practicing with weighted utensils in occupational therapy can help individuals dine with greater autonomy. Meanwhile, physical therapy can equip them with the skills they need to practice their mobility. Each department works in collaboration with one another. It helps our residents find the motivation they need to work towards furthering their goals,” says Ashley Forman, Move For Life Occupational Therapist at Daylesford Crossing.
All SageLife physical, occupational and speech therapists are certified in the LSVT Big and Loud programs designed specifically for people living with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. “We stress the importance of exercise and mobility training for seniors dealing with Parkinson’s Disease including classes such as chair yoga and dance,” said Mindy Clark, Health and Wellness Director for SageLife.
Similarly, nutrition is a key component of the program. Registered dieticians work with residents to customize meal plans that ensure they are eating foods rich in nutrients and fiber, which can help offset symptoms commonly caused by mobility disorders or Parkinson’s Disease. They also work with residents to create menus that meet any special dietary considerations that prescription medications may require.
“By creating these personalized plans, we see a difference in the quality of life for our residents, as we enable them to feel a sense of freedom in their bodies once again. I have witnessed firsthand the incredible transformation that our personalized approach can bring. Many of our residents come to us unable to communicate and feeling a deep distrust for those around them. However, with the right care plan tailored to their specific needs and medications, we have seen many of our residents make quick and remarkable progress,” concluded Clark.
To learn more, visit https://www.sagelife.com/daylesford-crossing/movement-disorders/.