This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

exercise class

John went today to an introduction to a Silver Sneakers exercise program at our local community recreation center. He seems more interested in the question of whether his insurance would pay for it than in what the courses were like--he doesn't seem to have come to any conclusion about whether a group exercise class would work for him. They were supposed to do a demonstration class but unfortunately they didn't. They have a stretch and strength class twice a week, which sounds like what he needs. I wouldn't have thought he would have considered a group exercise class, but he seems willing to try it out.

When we went to a conference on Parkinson's disease one of the doctors said that the thing that will help most is exercise. I don't know what structure will work to get John to do exercises (in addition to his walking) when he finishes his month of physical therapy, but I think he needs some structure. I've done a little bit of looking into finding him a personal trainer, but maybe a class would be better.


Pauline said...


Perhaps you and John could take ballroom dance lessons. For Daddy this proved to be the very thing that kept him going once the Parkinsons really kicked in. He would count off time..1,2,3,4..1,2,3,4.. then he could get those feet to move. We found that with actual music playing, he could do even better! (Imagine that...) But seriously,the dance knowledge was a big help to him. I could get him across the room counting in time, when otherwise, he was frozen in place.

It is something you could do together, and it might give you some wonderful memories too.

Kristine said...

I'm not sure where you are located but I work with the SilverSneakers program in my community. I have heard so many positive stories of how the class has helped people both physically and psychologically as a result of connecting with others in the class. I would encourage you to reach out to the instructor or the local SS rep- let me know if I can be of any assistance in connecting you with someone from the program.