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3 ways we care for residents with Parkinson’s disease

Christine Kelly | Apr 8, 2021

nurse and patient 2

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease often have difficulty accessing appropriate, comfortable care. Most Parkinson’s patients in the Midwest receive care from a few specialized clinics around the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, not all these providers have access to the most effective therapies or current practices.

Because Parkinson’s affects each individual differently, the course of the disease varies from one person to the next and symptoms come and go erratically, specialized and tailored treatment is a must. Without a thorough understanding of Parkinson’s disease, team members may associate symptom inconsistencies with being stubborn, and therefore not be able to provide suitable care. Here are three ways we help those with Parkinson’s enjoy Life. And all the living that goes with it:

  1. Partnership with Struthers Parkinson’s

Walker Methodist has been part of Struthers Parkinson’s care network since it began seven years ago. The network ensures all team members are given basic training about Parkinson’s disease and caring for residents with a diagnosis. This training includes specific, in-depth education for nurses, therapist, fitness technicians, social workers, and other roles. Some areas of training include pain management, the power of music, and implementing classes. Learn more about this partnership…

  1. Champions

Each community has at least two team members designated as Struthers Champions. Champions are educated during multiple-day training sessions and become leaders at their communities. Champions’ roles vary from community to community, but they all ensure Struthers and Walker Methodist standards are met and promote education for all teams. Champions are given an interactive toolkit to train other team members and lead support groups.

Champions also attend meetings to keep Parkinson’s care as an educational focus. Champions learn from each other, speakers, and panels to receive updates in education.

  1. Support groups

Many Walker Methodist communities have Parkinson’s support groups. At Walker Methodist communities, Parkinson’s support groups are for caregivers and residents. Finding community with other residents and caregivers, participants learn from speakers about topics like hallucinations and self-care. They can also share personal struggles, which often leads to topic-specific education at future meetings. One topic that surfaces often is patience. Gentle reminders help refresh caregivers and encourage those with Parkinson’s. Since many residents with a Parkinson’s diagnosis live with a spouse, these groups help both groups receive beneficial information. Team members also get to know residents and caregivers. Though some of this has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, we still provide education and support to our residents and their loved ones.

A culture of care

We train our team members to provide the best, most compassionate, and most informed care. We pay attention to the details, and we make the most of every moment. From bake sales to support the Parkinson’s Foundation to raising awareness in the greater community, we care for our residents with Parkinson’s like family.

Living with Parkinson’s disease, or caring for a loved one with a diagnosis, doesn’t have to hold you back from the life you love.

To learn more about Parkinson’s care and living options at Walker Methodist communities, please contact us today. Looking for resources? Check out these links:

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