Video from WNYT Benita Zahn story about Parkinson’s Dance at Ciccotti Center
Click on photo to start video
November 16, 2017 06:14 PM
COLONIE – Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes loss of muscle control. It affects about a million Americans.
Increasingly, those affected are turning to dance as therapy.
About five months ago, a local dance teacher started a class for people with Parkinson’s. Then, she learned about “Dance for Parkinson’s,” a program that got its start in 2001 in Brooklyn and has gone global.
She was invited to take the training class. Now, there’s a whole lot of happy feet.
Once a week, a group of people living with Parkinson’s Disease toss care to the wind and give themselves over to music and motion. It’s the “Dance for Parkinson’s” class at the Ciccotti Center in Colonie.
As the disease slowly robs them of their ability to move, the dance moves work on balance and coordination, cognition and personal confidence.
“It is a very bright spot in the week. Just that dancing and having fun and throwing your arms around and stuff. So I like that a lot,” explained Patricia Clock, a Parkinson’s patient.
The class incorporates movement from modern, ballet, tap, folk and social dancing – along with yoga.
“My wife has been trying to get me to dance ever since we were married and I’m really a horrible dancer,” admitted Jud Eson.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. He and his wife, Nancy, learned about “Dance for Parkinson’s” a few years ago when they spent time in Brooklyn where the program was born. So they were thrilled when longtime dance teacher, Rachelle Smith-Stallman, who’d started a Parkinson’s dance class in June, embraced the concept, undergoing training from “Dance for Parkinson’s.” The training helped hone specific moves to share with her classes bringing the most benefit to participants.
“I get the whole body going. I certainly work every single muscle possible. I use a lot of rhythm,” explained Smith-Stallman. “It really gives spirit. It gives joy,” she noted.
That joy may be at the heart of the class. That and the sense of community, because too often, as the disease progresses, the world shrinks. Here, there are no boundaries.
“‘Cause exercise is the best medicine for Parkinson’s disease,” pointed out Eson.
The classes are held weekly at the Ciccotti Center. They cost $5 a class. Just call to register.
Plan to attend this free special event for Caregivers
“From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Journey”
Is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia taking a toll on your well-being? Learn practical strategies for making your caregiving journey easier and for taking better care of yourself along the way. It really is possible to thrive as a caregiver!
Monday, November 27
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Hearst Media Center
645 Albany-Shaker Road, Albany, Featuring: Amy S. D’Aprix, MSW, PhD, CPCADr.
Amy D’Aprix is a gerontological social worker who is an internationally renowned expert on lifestyle issues relating to caregiving, retirement, aging, and family dynamics. “Dr. Amy”, as she is affectionately known, uses her years of professional experience in working with and on behalf of older adults and their families to give down-to-earth, practical, and professional informed guidance and advice. In addition to her professional and academic experience, Dr. Amy spent a decade caring for her own parents. She has authored the book “From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Journey”, and co-recorded a CD with an accompanying workbook: “Building the Bonds of Friendship in Midlife and Beyond”. Reception and light refreshments immediately following the presentation.
This program is free, however, space is limited. Please reserve your seat by Friday, November 17, by calling (518) 238-4164.This program is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support initiative which is supported by a grant from the New York State Department of Health. www.SPHP.com/ALZCARE
The future of Parkinson’s research is in powerful hands. Yours.
Fox Insight is an online clinical study where people with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones share information that could transform the search for better treatments. You can help shape the future of Parkinson’s research — but it’s going to take all of us, working together. You in?
The Capital District Parkinson’s Support Group meets at 7 PM the second Thursday of most months at the Beverwyck Senior Center located at Krumkill Road, Slingerlands, New York. In January and February we meet in the afternoon of the second Saturday at 1:30.
Patients, spouses, siblings, medical professionals/students, friends, and caregivers are welcome to attend to learn more about Parkinson’s disease or obtain information.
SuperBetter increases resilience – the ability to stay strong, motivated and optimistic even in the face of difficult obstacles. Playing SuperBetter makes you more capable of getting through any tough situation—and more likely to achieve the goals that matter most to you. Proven results in just 10 minutes a day
Caregiver teleseminars a service of http://seniorservicesofalbany.com/
Tools for Caregivers Day:
Resources You Can Use When a Senior Relies on You
SAVE THE DATE !
Tools for Caregivers
April 14, 2018
(REGISTRATION OPENS IN MARCH)
Albany Guardian Society Fall 2017 Catalog
Caregiver Support Programs
Caregiver support programs assist informal caregivers—spouses, adult children, other family members, friends and neighbors in their efforts to care for older persons who need help with everyday tasks.
The programs include services to assist the caregiver in their efforts through:
- Assistance and Referral
- Counseling and Support Groups
- Caregiver Training
Home Based Services*
- Personal Emergency Response Systems*
- Short term respite to relieve the caregiver through in-home care or social or medical day care or overnight care in a facility*
*These services require and In-home assessment to determine eligibility
No one wants to go to the hospital, but sometimes it is necessary.
Here are some ways to be prepared
Aware in care kit
To protect, prepare and empower people with Parkinson’s before, during and after a hospital visit, we developed the free Aware in Care kit with tools and information to share with hospital staff during a planned or emergency hospital visit.
Aware in Care kits can be requested from your local Parkinson’s Foundation Chapter or Center of Excellence. If you do not live in an area with a Chapter or center, you can order a kit online.
Vial of life
Everybody should have a Vial of Life form filled out. The Vial of Life is a smart way to have your medical information on hand just in case of an emergency. Seniors need this because of their constant medical changes and medications… It’s the right thing to do.
Put one in your wallet, in your glove compartment, and especially on your refrigerator door
Print a kit http://www.vialoflife.com/print-free-vial-kits/
Print a decal to put on your door and refrigerator http://www.vialoflife.com/print-free-vial-kits/
There are many reasons that I enjoy participating in the Dancing Through Parkinson’s program. Here is my list:
The brain can be changed by doing new activities. Dancing requires concentration and coordination, which helps my brain stay sharp. My neurologist is very pleased with my stable condition and says to keep up the exercise, including DTP. This is just as important as my medications, in her opinion.
I enjoy meeting the other people with Parkinson’s. DTP provides a support group atmosphere, even though that was not the original intention of the program.
Rachelle brings a sense of joy to the class by playing interesting music and making the class fun and exciting . The class always leaves me feeling uplifted.
Jud Eson – Dance Participant
Patrick Klee – Dance Participant
I would like to thank the Ciccotti Center for hosting this class! It is one of the activities I truly look forward to attending on a regular basis.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) almost 20 years ago. For me, the best thing is exercise… all different forms of exercise and movement. The variety for me is important.
Besides taking the Dance/Movement class I also take a (non-contact) boxing class and a spin class (stationary bike). The dance class to me is like a PD Support Group. We get together, chat, take the class, and then chat more. This is one of the few places I feel comfortable to make mistakes and not over think about my symptoms. We are a group of like individuals taking the class with
limited opportunities to have the camaraderie of others in public. This class gives that to us. The smiles, laughter, and joy that emit from the room can be amazing. I appreciate this opportunity to let you know how grateful I am of the Cicotti Center’s support.
Bruce Plotsky – Dance Participant
“Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, for which there is still no cure. I had but two options, I could live in fear, or I could scare myself healthy. I scared myself healthy, and so can you.”
Exercise is an important part of healthy living for everyone. For people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), exercise is more than healthy — it is a vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and activities of daily living. Exercise and physical activity can improve many PD symptoms. These benefits are supported by research.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience Journal, dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.
People who are physically active can slow down their brain’s aging process. Neuroscientists behind this study say that dancing is the most effective physical activity.
In their study, they prove that 2 different types of physical activity, dancing and endurance training both increase the brain’s area that declines over time as we age. But, only dancing has proved to be effective when it comes to changes in behavior due to the noticeable improvements in balance.
The researchers selected 52 elderly volunteers aged 63-80 years for the purpose of the study. Then, they divided them randomly into two groups, one group was assigned to join dance classes, and the other group joined the sports control group.
The dance group took dance lessons with a constant change of choreography which moves they were asked to memorize. The program for the sports group, on the other hand, consisted of strength training, endurance training, and flexibility training.
The hippocampus area of the brain which is the most susceptible to decline because of the aging processes has increased in both groups. This area of the brain is also responsible for memory, balance, as well as learning.
But, only volunteers in the dance group had an increased volume of other subparts in the left hippocampus. Moreover, only dancing had increased the volume of one part in the right hippocampus called the subiculum.
This study proved that dancing, especially when followed by a change in choreography, is indeed superior to repetitive physical activities such as walking or cycling.
More than 35 peer reviewed scientific research studies conducted at a number of major university research centers around the world including Roehampton University, University of Florida, Queensland University of Technology, York University and the University of Freiburg point to the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s. A number of leading neurologists and movement disorder specialists around the world include Dance for PD classes among a shortlist of recommended activities for their patients.
Do you have a testimonial to add?