Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Living Well With Parkinson's Disease
In one more day I will be leaving for Western Pennsylvania, where I will be participating in the sixth annual Living Well With Parkinson's Retreat.
Last weekend I created a power point presentation incorporating the theme of the weekend: Self-Management of Parkinson's Disease. Specifically, conference organizers hope to emphasize that participants be informed, be centered, and be present. Towards that goal, I decided to share a few of my preliminary thoughts on this matter:
Be Informed: Know the disease and it's symptoms.
As many as 90% of people with Parkinson's Disease (PD) may develop a speech and voice disorder.
As many as 95% of people with PD may develop a swallowing disorder.
To protect dopamine cells, exercise should start as early as possible, yet, patients receive referrals to physical and speech therapy only 12 - 16% of the time. Voice Aerobics was begun in 1999 as an after therapy program designed to provide ongoing practice and strengthening of voice after formal therapy was completed.
Be Centered: "Know Yourself"
Patients are NOT all alike. The art and science of speech and voice therapy must integrate evidenced based research with a patient's individual abilities and goals. Speech therapy is NOT a "one size fits all."
Appropriate treatment for for voice and speech disorders should address the underlying physiology that causes the impairment.
Successful treatment will include whatever approaches help YOU to reach your goals.
Be Present: "Know Others"
The nature and the quality of the relationship between the patient and the health care provider is critical to the treatment outcome.
The art and science of speech and voice therapy asks:
Why did the patient come to therapy?
What is the patient's perception of the problem?
It is essential to build up a patient's sense of personal responsibility. Unrealistic expectations and over stringent criteria can set a patient up for failure.
What Are Your Goals?
A community based program or a home program which provides visual and verbal cues can prevent individuals from returning to baseline immediately after completing speech or physical therapy. A guided program which requires no memorization and offers ongoing cueing can allow patients with mild dementia to practice independently and lessen caregiver and care partner responsibility.
Be Present: "Know Others"
"Voice is the essence of who we are". Use all of the methods available to preserve and improve your voice.
To enlist individuals in their treatment, and to help them express their personality and spirit through voice. To educate and empower.