Anneliese Peterson | Apr 26, 2018
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease often have difficulty accessing appropriate, comfortable care. Most Parkinson’s patients in the Midwest receive care from the 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, staff may associate symptom inconsistencies with being stubborn, and therefore not be able to provide suitable care.
At Walker Methodist, we strive to provide superior care to all older adults, regardless of health and needs. It is with this spirit that we share our excitement that seven of our communities – Highview Hills in Lakeville, Care Suites in Edina, the Health Center in Minneapolis, Levande in Cambridge, Westwood Ridge in West St. Paul, Place in Minneapolis, and Plaza in Anoka have been chosen by the Struthers Parkinson’s Center to join their Care Network. This partnership supports our mission of Life, and all the living that goes with it. We are encouraged by the commitment that Struthers has for their patients and to the training and dedication shown to the Champions of the program.
Since 1978, the Struthers Parkinson’s Center has been recognized as a leader in not only Parkinson’s care, but Parkinson’s education and support as well. Struthers is a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence located at Park Nicollet Hospital and is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
In 2006, the Struthers Parkinson’s Center gathered and presented research at the World Parkinson Congress gathering, which detailed the results of a professional health survey conducted within the center’s five-state service area. The data showed that nearly 60% of health professionals had no Parkinson’s-specific training within five years of the survey and did not regularly work with individuals who had Parkinson’s. In that study, 66% of participants responded they felt they did not have sufficient Parkinson’s educational resources and the average confidence rate for working with Parkinson’s individuals was 56 out of 100. Without the proper tools and training, not only did individuals have difficulty finding proper care, but providers were hesitant to welcome such individuals.
In response to the growing need for expert Parkinson’s care for individuals, the Struthers Parkinson’s Center initiated the development of the Care Network in 2012. The Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network helps to bring expertise of Parkinson’s to independent living, assisted living, and long-term care communities. This unique partnership allows facilities to gather additional insight into the complexities of Parkinson’s through training and education.
After applications were completed, Walker Methodist was accepted to join the program. Key leaders from Walker Methodist senior communities attend a 3-day training conducted by the Struthers Parkinson’s Center. As trained experts, these individuals have been conducting training sessions for all Walker Methodist Staff to thoroughly implement the Parkinson’s program.
Walker Methodist staff and caregivers are better trained to not only recognize, but understand the complexities and varieties of Parkinson’s disease. This specialized care leads to improved communication and an enhanced living experience for those who have Parkinson’s.
Not only are care staff members better prepared to assist those with Parkinson’s, they also are able to provide education, resources, and support to the individuals and their families as well. The Struthers Parkinson’s Center is very pleased to be able to continue the relationship in accordance with long term care goals and plans.
In Minnesota the population of adults over the age of 65 is one of the fastest growing groups. By the end of 2030, this group is projected to grow from 12% to 24% of the state’s population, which means it will increase from roughly 600,000 individuals to 1.2 million. By 2050, adults over the age of 85 are estimated to triple. We’re doing our best to take proactive measures to be able to truly care for all older adults, including those with Parkinson’s disease.