Saint Francis Hospital is helping fight Parkinson’s disease with a new rehab program, focusing on speech and movement.
In just the last few months, life has changed for Charles Wise man, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 69 but recently went through the rehab program.
"My body's strength is not what it used to be, and I guess I hid behind the fact that I'm a senior citizen. I get older and you start to begin to lose some of that strength,” Charles Wiseman said.
His wife Sandy, whose mother had Parkinson’s, said she began to notice some subtle changes.
"His gait had changed. He was taking tiny steps. He was holding his arms at an odd angle to his body,” Sandy Wiseman said.
At the advice of his neurologist, Charles quickly enrolled in a new program at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Hartford called LSVT Loud and Big, which is a four-week program that incorporates physical and occupational therapy to improve speech and motor skills.
"As simple as putting on your shoes. As simple as getting into and out of a car. As simple as buttoning your shirts,” Charles Wiseman said as he described the program.
His wife said she has seen significant progress, and a renewed self-confidence in her husband.
“When you do this program and you do the exercises associated with it. Over a year later, these people still...their symptoms are improved,” said Dr. Barry Gordon, who is a neurologist.
It has been several weeks since Charles Wise man completed the program, but the couple said the rehab continues at home every day.
“Sandy has been my...she's harder on me than the people here. We do the exercises together,” Charles Wiseman said.
That’s how they face a disease they refuse to let define their lives.
"It's our life. It's not just his disease, but it's our life,” Sandy Wiseman said.
"You have to fight it day-by-day, but you don't let it have to inundate you,” Charles added.
The program is open to anyone, you don’t have to be a patient within Saint Francis. To learn more, call the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Outpatient Department at 860-714-3500, and press option 2.
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