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Parkinson’s Care Network: April 20, 2014

It’s being called a revolutionary approach to Parkinson’s care. The switch to a treatment based on a network of specialists.

“I think once a person has a diagnosis of Parkinson’s there’s a tendency to say ‘oh I have this, that’s the end. I can’t do anything’ - and now that’s the opposite,” says Lee Memorial Health System’s physical therapist Nathalie Grondin.

As part of a community-based care model, people with a Parkinson’s diagnosis can undergo an assessment through Lee Memorial Health System.

“In the screening a person can expect to first have a discussion with the navigator where they get information about the diagnosis, the progression and how they’re doing in their life, in their function,” Grondin says.

The goal is to measure baseline skills and identify opportunities to make a difference.

“Do they need help with therapy - either speech therapy/pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy - and to find out about the resources we have in the community.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, so it changes and evolves. And treatment should too. Getting proper help at the right time has been shown to have tangible benefits.

“It’s all about teaching people with Parkinson’s to move from a powerful perspective. It’s been proven that with regular exercise and activity targeted towards specific problems, that a person can actually slow the progression.”

By hastening the affects, people with Parkinson’s may enjoy a fuller and more fruitful life.