Collabria Care (formerly Napa Valley Hospice & Adult Day Services) will offer workshops for Parkinson’s disease patients, (any stage), their families, caretakers, and friends, beginning on September 12. The workshops are designed to address the main issues that commonly affect those with Parkinson’s, such as movement disorders, sleep disturbances, nutritional concerns, and brain function.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, approximately one million Americans suffer from the disease, which is more than the combined number of those afflicted with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year, 96% of whom are over the age of fifty. Men are one and a half times more likely to have Parkinson’s than women.

The curriculum for these workshops was developed by the Collabria Day Program’s experienced Occupational Therapist, Mary Tappan. A recent study published by the Parkinson ’s Disease Foundation found “clear evidence that Occupational Therapy can improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease and can improve people’s ability to perform daily activities.” Mary has 15 years of experience working with older adults who have neurologic and cognitive conditions, both of which affect individuals with Parkinson’s disease.  “I love seeing someone’s face light up when they learn a technique or discover an assistive device that improves their quality of life,“ she says.

Topics for the workshops are:

September 12: Methods to help reduce common movement disorders
September 19: Techniques to help you stay positive
September 26: Identifying and relieving sleep disturbances
October 3: Addressing nutritional concerns
October 10: Optimizing your brain health

Each workshop will provide factual information about various aspects of the disease, practical demonstrations, and exercises for the body and mind. Maximizing respiratory health will be a critical part of this presentation.

Attendees will learn:

  • Movement techniques to maintain independent everyday activities, such as dressing oneself, bathing, walking
  • Practical planning tips to manage symptoms
  • What to expect, so you can live life to the fullest
  • How to build an effective support team

There will be time for questions and answers at the end of each session.

This free community service is open to all. Workshops will take place at Collabria Care, 414 South Jefferson Street in Napa from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on the dates listed above.  Pre-registration is required. To register or to request additional information, contact Jillian McNab at (707) 258-9087 ext. 272 or via email at jmcnab@collabriacare.org. Course materials will be provided at no cost and light refreshments will be available.