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Parkinson's Awareness Month: Let's Delay the Disease

Parkinson’s Awareness Month is an opportunity to increase awareness about the ailment and its symptoms, as well as to support those living with the disease, and educate care partners. Parkinson’s is a long-term disorder where the central nervous system degenerates and that affects the motor system. Motor symptoms like trembling, stiffness, and rigidity are usually associated with Parkinson’s disease. Symptoms typically occur slowly. One side is often affected first, but as Parkinson’s disease (PD) progresses, both sides are affected. Patients and care partners alike need resources, support and services that assist in their unique needs, questions, and goals to optimize quality of life and wellness.

Empower Recreational Therapy aims to assist those living with PD and educate their care partners on programs in your area that could enable ways to delay the progression of the disease, improve quality of life, and connect care partners and families with support groups.

How does Empower RT aid in quality-of-life standards for those living with Parkinson’s Disease?

1. Recreational Therapy (RT) Comprehensive Assessment – Each person who is referred to Empower Recreational Therapy's services will participate in a holistic RT comprehensive assessment to understand their unique needs. Recreational therapists utilize valid and reliable assessment tools that measure physical, cognitive, emotional, leisure, and social functioning. In addition, Empower RT administers a modified assessment tailored to quality-of-life measures specifically for those living with PD to aim to improve quality of life measures through adaptive fitness and recreation programming. Assessment results are summarized into a Wellness Executive Summary to keep you, your primary care physician, neurologist, and other health professionals informed.

2. Delay the Disease (DTD) Group Program - Empower RT partners with Aloha to Aging, Inc. to offer Delay the Disease programming. Weekly classes empower people with PD through symptom-specific exercises that promote improved physical, cognitive, and emotional outcomes. DTD is an evidenced-based national fitness program designed to empower those living with PD by optimizing their physical function and helping to delay the progression of symptoms. Classes target Parkinson’s symptoms and emphasize large movements, loud voices, balance, strength development, flexibility, core and posture, endurance, mental acuity all designed to retrain the mind and body. Participants report improvement in quality of life, regained ability to successfully manage the disease, and maintenance of independence. This program targets daily functional challenges and symptom-specific fitness agendas. Exercise plans are adapted to all levels of the disease, valuable to newly diagnosed and progressed states alike.

3. Individual Recreational Therapy Sessions: Individualized RT sessions are empowering for people living with PD to continue to reach their wellness goals through adaptive fitness and recreation pursuits in the comfort of their home. All evidence-based practice from the Delay the Disease group programming is brought in to assist those living with PD in individualized sessions, in conjunction with their RT comprehensive assessment plan. All sessions for those with PD are individualized to that specific person, to ensure utmost quality of life can be retained for as long as possible.

Community Resources for Care Partners:

  • Delay the Disease community classes are offered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Mondays 3-4pm.

  • Delay the Disease community classes are available for any Senior Living Community in our service area! Please contact us at to learn more about implementing this into your community programming.

  • Aloha to Aging, Inc. offers Parkinson's Support Groups - 1st Monday of the month at 2pm

To learn more about our Delay the Disease Program, please visit:

For Delay the Disease class fees and registration, please email:

To learn more about Empower RT's Wellness model, please visit:

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