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Parkinson's Programs

HIIT the Trails! and Caring for the Givers

For the second consecutive year, To Life! has been awarded a Parkinson's Foundation Community Grant to provide innovative programming to people with Parkinson's, along with their caregivers. Thanks to the Foundation, this programming will be offered for free for up to 10 in-person participants, along with more online participants.

We will be offering two complementary and synergistic programs that focus both on the person with PD and the caregiver.

 

  1. For the person with PD, we’ll offer a high intensity interval training program that includes monthly outdoor trail hikes, culminating in an exercise event.

  2. For the caregivers, we’ll create a monthly support group led by a licensed Mental Health professional and a yoga instructor.

 

HIIT the Trails!

 

  • HIIT classes: 45-min long, in-person using the 5 machines at To Life! plus a Zoom community of up to 20 people exercising together. Three new classes posted to an online library per week. 

  • Yoga classes: Focus on PD-specific stretching and positions with adaptations. Balance is addressed and is important for PD-related symptoms of rigidity, FOG, anxiety, instability.

  • Hikes/Walks: 1x per month the entire local community meets for a walk/easy hike at various locations throughout Pgh. Option to use urban poles for balance and ease of gait. (To Life! has 10 pairs to borrow.) Walking in nature and connecting with others have both been shown to have a positive impact on quality of life and overall emotional well-being. 10-15 people can attend due to safety and staffing

  • Nutritional Counseling: After last year’s grant funded program, we found it necessary to help heal the gut microbiome to maximize the efficacy of PD meds. We will hold one monthly group session for a total of 6 months. 

  •  End with a 5K or large hike to raise money for PD (to be determined) so that we can work towards a goal together.

 

Caring for the Givers

Caregivers are oftentimes stretched thin, end up altering their schedules and lives, and even change their hopes and dreams for the future due to their loved one’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. We want to create a safe space where caregivers can share, learn about interesting topics related to caring for someone with PD, connect with others in similar life situations, and have a time where they can work on their own relaxation. Caregivers will meet once a month for a 90-minute session: 60 min support group run by a Mental Health Professional, and 30 mins of yoga for relaxation and centering. During the last 30 mins, the yoga instructor will help caregivers with breathing & restorative yoga. 

This the only program of its kind in the greater Pittsburgh metro area. We are recruiting for Fall 2023 now, with programming to begin on October 16, 2023.

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LSVT BIG® Individual Therapy

LSVT BIG trains people with Parkinson disease (PD) to use their body more normally by focusing on amplitude or "bigness" of movement. LSVT BIG is an intensive PT program, with sessions 4 days per week for 4 weeks.

 

The program trains improved movements for any activity, whether “small motor” tasks like buttoning a shirt or “large motor” tasks like getting up from sofa or chair or maintaining balance while walking. The treatment improves walking, self-care and other tasks by helping people “recalibrate” how they perceive their movements with what others actually see.

LSVT BIG treatment is customized to each person's specific needs and goals, it can help regardless of the stage or severity of your condition.

 

This program is covered by most insurances.

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PWR! Moves® Group Exercise Class

PWR! training consists of exercises that specifically target four skills shown by research to interfere with mobility in people with Parkinson’s: anti-gravity extension, weight shifting, axial mobility, and transitional movements.

 

The four basic PWR! Moves are performed with large amplitude, high effort, and in multiple postures. PWR! is more than just exercising, it’s really a philosophy to help people live their lives better in the presence of Parkinson’s.

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