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Exercise Key for Those with Parkinson’s Disease

February 15, 2017

Stowe – One key takeaway from a recent Copley Woodlands discussion about living with Parkinson’s Disease was the importance of exercise. Research continues to show how important endurance, strengthening, balance and stretching exercises are in optimizing function and improving quality of life. Charlotte Gowen, Program Coordinator for the Binter Center for Parkinson’s Disease & Movement Disorders at UVM Medical

Participants at Copley Woodlands seminar.
Copley Woodlands hosted a discussion about Parkinson’s Disease.

Center discussed various aspects of clinical care, educational opportunities, research and community programs available during the 90-minute seminar at Copley Woodlands retirement community in Stowe.

According to Gowen, a new person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease every 9 minutes nationally. In Vermont, she estimates there are 1500-2,000 people living with the disease in Vermont.

Gowen recommended wearing a medical ID and keeping a list of current medications and dosage with you. “Bicycle Road IDs cyclists wear are nickel-free,” she shared for those that may have nickel-allergies. She also recommended “Big and Loud” programs, physical therapy and speech therapy proven to be effective in addressing speech and motor impairments caused by Parkinson’s.

Asked about emerging research, Gowen mentioned that the link between Parkinson’s and “gut microbiota,” the microbe population living in one’s intestine, is being studied extensively. There is also research to try to determine the best types of exercise and exploring if nicotine may be a protective.

Gowen recommended joining the mailing list for the American Parkinson Disease Association, www.apdaparkinson.org, and its Vermont Chapter, www.parkinsonsvt.org.

Copley Woodlands is a 40-unit Independent Living Retirement Community in the heart of Stowe, Vermont. Home ownership or leasing is available, with spacious units averaging 1,100 square feet and pets are welcome. On-site services include one meal per day in the stylish dining room, scheduled van transportation, recreational, cultural and fitness activities, housekeeping, maintenance, night security and personal services coordination. Copley Woodlands is within easy walking distance of shopping, restaurants, the Stowe Free Library, Helen Day Art Center and the Post Office. Copley Woodlands is a partnership between Copley Health Systems and University of Vermont Medical Center.  For more information call 802-253-7200 or visit copleywoodlands.com.