April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and Countryside YMCA is supporting the Parkinson's community by providing free virtual classes designed specifically for them. Learn more on today's blog.

COUNTRYSIDE YMCA and ATRIUM SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL THERAPY LAUNCH PROGRAM TO IMPROVE LIVES OF PARKINSON'S PATIENTS

Virtual classes for people with Parkinson's are now available through the Y

[Lebanon, OH] April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, and Countryside YMCA is supporting the Parkinson's community by providing free virtual classes designed specifically for them. These classes are a part of the new program Live Large with Parkinson's at the Y, developed by Countryside YMCA in partnership with Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy.

Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone, but for people with Parkinson's exercise is vital to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. As a leading community-based non-profit focused on the health of the community, the Y wanted to provide evidence-based programming specifically for people with Parkinson's.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes several symptoms including tremors, slowing of movement, stiffness of limbs, gait problems and balance problems. Though much remains unknown about the disease, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's each year, according to the Parkinson's Foundation. Currently, Parkinson's has no cure.

"We are committed to delaying the progression of Parkinson's disease for all fitness levels and this program will provide a continuum of care for people with Parkinson's, starting with a recommended ability screening," said Debbie Parshall, Live Large with Parkinson's instructor and Director of the Countryside YMCA Otterbein Life Enrichment Center. After the ability screening, clients will be directed to the exercise class best suited for them. Because of the current stay at home order by Governor DeWine the Y decided to put some of the classes online now to make them available immediately.|

Parshall, who has training from Parkinson's Wellness Recovery and Delay the Disease, will do the ability screening and based on the results, she will place the client into one of three phases. A few examples of ability screening include;
• Can you get out of a chair without help?
• Do you walk without a cane?
• Have you no or zero falls in the past month?

Based on the results, the person may be referred to Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy for formal physical therapy offered in Phase 1 or they may be placed directly into Phase 2 programming.
Phase 1 is for people with Parkinson's who need to begin their exercise program with formal physical therapy. The course of Phase 1 physical therapy may be as few as 4 – 6 visits but may continue if skilled intervention is beneficial and indicated. Phase 1 sessions will be scheduled directly with Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy at 513-934-3850, located at Countryside YMCA | Lebanon.

"We have been serving people with Parkinson's for over 20 years. There is much evidence to support that people with Parkinson's can slow the progression of the disease by participating in an exercise-based program once discharged from formal physical therapy. We have always encouraged people with Parkinson's to participate in such a program, but, until now, there hasn't been a group wellness program offered right here in Lebanon," said Lisa Duncan, PT, ATC at Atrium Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy.

A Client placed in Phase 2 will be enrolled in a basic to intermediate level group exercise class which includes stretching, balance, core, seated and standing exercises with a mild heart-rate elevation. The goal is to retrain the brain and decrease the symptoms of Parkinson's. These classes are held at Countryside YMCA | Lebanon or at Otterbein SeniorLife Community | Lebanon.
A client placed in Phase 3 will be enrolled in an advanced level group exercise class which includes stretching, balance, core, seated and standing exercises along with a circuit-style boot camp and moderate heart-rate elevation. The goal is to delay the progression of Parkinson's symptoms as long as possible. These classes are held at Countryside YMCA | Lebanon or at Otterbein SeniorLife Community | Lebanon .

Participants in the program will have increased self-confidence, decreased risk of falls and minimized fatigue. The goal of the program is to give participants a happier lifestyle with reduced rigidity and improved mobility, and to delay the desease as long as possible.

The program will be offered as an eight week session with a cost of $62 for members and $132 for non-members. As soon as the Y re-opens for classes, people will be able to register for the program.

For more information, contact Debbie Parshall at 513 696 8590 or email her at Debbie.Parshall@ymcastaff.org.  More information on the program and the virtual classes can be found here

About Countryside YMCA

Countryside YMCA- one of the world's largest YMCAs – is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening the Warren County community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For over 40 years, Countryside YMCA has embodied the Christian principles that help people achieve a balance of spirit, mind and body. All are welcome to experience the unmatched facilities, outreach, and varied programs available only at the Y. www.countrysideymca.org