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Parkinson’s help available

Wednesday August 29, 2012

Joanne Halstead Moyer

Spokesman.com - I read the article about the Alzheimer’s program in Portland. Parkinson’s disease also carries the risk of dementia. The Parkinson’s Resource Center in Spokane offers programs that benefit these people as well as those without this complication. Among these is an educational presentation with a socialization time each month at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute and a singing group, the Tremble Clefs, weekly at Rockwood Manor.

My husband, Dr. John Moyer, has Parkinson’s disease with moderate to severe dementia. He benefits greatly from these programs as well as time at Providence Adult Day Health. The socialization opportunities give him purpose and enhance his self-esteem.

I have found that family and friends abandon people suffering from dementia. While conversation can be challenging due to the loss of memory and repetition of questions is difficult, visits still bring happiness and reduce the ever-present depression.

Individuals with dementia would not have chosen this path. It is important to remember who they were before the disease and why they are important to you. Spend time with them and talk. While they might not remember the conversation, it will allow you to build memories for the future of now and better times.

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