Community-Based Exercise and Support Groups
There is a growing body of evidence that supports the benefit of physical activity and exercise to improve overall function. Group exercise programs are a great way to get started in a safe, supportive environment with the benefits of social support and accountability. In addition to exercise groups, being part of a support group is one of the best ways to reduce stress and create connections with those who are experiencing some of the same things as you.
Tampa Jewish Community Center: The Philip Shayman Parkinson’s Program
The Philip Shayman Parkinson’s Program provides support groups, educational meetings and a variety of group fitness classes to members with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. Some of the most popular activities include Brain Games, Rock Steady Boxing, and Tai Chi.
Local Tampa YMCA
The YMCAs include large gym spaces, group fitness classes specific to Parkinson’s disease, including “Delay the Disease” and Pedaling for Parkinson’s, and support groups.
The aim of PdLIFE is to help improve lifestyle, education, fitness and community engagement. The group hosts exercise classes, support groups and monthly events.
The Palms of Largo
The Palms of Largo offers several programs that help individuals continue to feel well with Parkinson’s disease, including Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), the Tremble Clefs and support groups.
The Parkinson Place Center
The Parkinson Place Center, based in Sarasota, offers over 75 online classes, support groups and special educational events every month.
Rock Steady Boxing Fishhawk
This group meets regularly to promote social support and fitness in those with PD.
The following national resources include educational resources, research initiatives, virtual events, workouts and support groups for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, caregivers and families.
American Parkinson Disease Association
LSVT BIG is an intensive, amplitude focused physical and occupational therapy approach developed from principles of the effective Parkinson’s-specific speech treatment LSVT LOUD.
Research on LSVT BIG demonstrates improved ratings on tests of motor functioning in people with Parkinson disease (PD), including:
Faster walking and bigger steps
Improvements in balance
Increased trunk rotation
Improvements in daily living activities like getting in and out of bed
LSVT BIG is a standardized program with a specific treatment protocol. LSVT BIG can be adapted to meet each patient’s needs and goals.
LSVT BIG treatment consists of
16 sessions: 4 consecutive days a week for 4 weeks
Individual sessions with a physical or occupational therapist (PT/OT) for 1 hour each
Daily homework practice and daily carryover exercises for continued practice and repetition
LSVT BIG can only be delivered by a licensed PT or OT who is certified in this method
LSVT LOUD is a speech treatment for people with PD and other neurological conditions. This program trains people to use their voice at a more normal volume. The goal is to help people recalibrate their perceptions of their speaking volume so that they become more comfortable speaking at home, work and in the community.
This program is used most often to assist people who are in moderate disease stages. It is often best to begin working with LSVT LOUD before you’ve noticed significant problems with voice and communication, but it is never too late to start.
How Can You Enroll in LSVT BIG/LOUD?
To participate in LSVT BIG, you will need to receive a prescription from your physician.
Interested participants can search for certified clinicians in your area on the LSVT global website
You can participate in LSVT BIG/LOUD at TGH’s outpatient clinics (813-844-7719 option #4).
Assistive Devices and Technology
Parkinson’s’ disease (PD) can make daily living challenging particularly due to motor symptoms such as tremor and shaking, stiffness, slow movements and unsteady balance. Assistive devices can make it easier and safer to accomplish everyday activities. Discuss the best assistive devices for you with your therapy team or physicians.
Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) is an assistive technology program. FAAST provides device loans, device demonstrations, device reutilization, information and assistance, as well as financing. FAAST serves Floridians who have disabilities and their families, services providers, educators, rehabilitation professionals, and all others involved in care. You can visit FAAST, located at Tampa General’s Rehab Center.