Powerful things are happening in Grand Island! Ashlyn Cramer
is a physical therapist at the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy
Center in Grand Island, Nebraska. After several local residents expressed a
need for a Rock Steady Boxing class in Grand Island, Parkinson’s Nebraska helped
Ashlyn participate in the Rock Steady Boxing Coaches Training Camp in June of
We were lucky enough to catch up with Ashlyn and see how her
training has impacted the Grand Island Parkinson’s community. She describes the
program as an opportunity to “incorporate
strength, agility, balance, fine motor control, cognition, community and fun
into one program targeted at “Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s” and the daily
impairments people struggle with when living with this disease”. As a physical
therapist, she has enjoyed sharing this program with her patients who are ready
to be discharged to a home-based or community program.
The first class in Grand Island began in
November of 2018 with 5 boxers. Within the last three months, the class has
grown to 15 boxers. The class has boxers, or fighters as Ashlyn calls them, with varied impairments and
severities of symptoms. The trainers are sure to incorporate a lot of fun while
targeting each individual’s functional barriers to daily life. Many of the
fighters have reported “strength and stability gains along with improved
energy, increased mood/sense of support within the group, and even improved
capability for completing fine motor tasks like buttoning shirts, writing, and
managing small objects”.
Not only does Ashlyn share this program with her class, she uses it to spread awareness throughout the entire Grand Island community. She says has “attended support group meetings, shared this opportunity with local physicians/neurologists, and have even been able to spread public awareness about the disease and the benefits of this class through local news/media sources”. Check out article from NebraskaTV below.
The Rock Steady Boxing classes are led by Ashlyn and Kasady, a PT Tech, and meet at the Downtown YMCA in Grand Island, Nebraska on the following days:
& Thursday: 10:00 am- 11:00 am
& Friday: 11:00 am- 12:00 pm
Contact the Grand Island Balance, Mobility, and Aquatic Therapy Center at 308-398-2170 for questions about the class or to set up an initial evaluation for a one-time fee of $75 (which includes education on the program, initial assessment, and boxing wraps/gloves).
Once an evaluation is completed, boxers can attend class as many times a week as they’d like with a YMCA membership. Membership pricing options can be discussed with Grand Island YMCA at 308-395-9622.
Columbus Community Hospital’s Rehabilitative Services boasts impressive Parkinson’s program
July 3, 2019
At Parkinson’s Nebraska, we have been focused on expanding our
reach into the rural communities across Nebraska. In June, Amber was able to travel
to Columbus, NE to visit with the Columbus Area Parkinson’s Support Group to share
information about Parkinson’s Disease and how we are helping improve lives.
Thank you to Michell
Ruskamp, M.S., CCC-SLP, assistant director of CCH’s Rehabilitative Services, for
inviting Parkinson’s Nebraska to talk to the group!
After the meeting, Michell gave a tour of the Columbus Wellness
Center. The impressive facility is home to both the CCH’s Rehabilitative
Services and the Columbus Family YMCA. The partnership provides many benefits
to patients, including the Transition Program. After progressing out of
therapy, the therapists provide patients with fitness advice and help them
transition into a regular exercise routine at the Columbus Family YMCA. This
unique program promotes healthy living by encouraging patients to continue
exercising after the completion of therapy. This is especially valuable for
people with Parkinson’s because of the immense benefits exercise provides in
The CCH’s Rehabilitative Services also boasts a comprehensive
Parkinson’s Wellness Program designed to help people with PD delay the effects
of the disease while improving their quality of life and independence. There
are many therapy, exercise, and community services available within the
Parkinson’s Wellness Program including:
LSVT-BIG®: An intensive physical training for individuals with PD
Parkinson Wellness Recovery – PWR!®: A therapy approach focused on
early intervention, enrichment, education, and empowerment
LSVT-LOUD®: An intensive speech therapy to improve the speech and
swallow functions for people with PD
SPEAK OUT!®: An intensive speech therapy to improve the speech and swallow
functions for people with PD
The CCH LOUD Crowd®: A weekly maintenance voice exercise group designed to help
PD patients carry over the skills they learned in voice therapy, so they are
able to keep their voices and swallow function strong long after therapy has
ended. Participants must be a former SPEAK OUT!® or LSVT-LOUD® patient.
Occupational therapy: Therapy that focuses on the Activities of Daily Living
for people with PD.
Rock Steady Boxing: A noncontact, boxing-based fitness curriculum designed to
help people with Parkinson’s improve quality of life through lessened symptoms
and a happier, healthier life. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from
1:15-2:15 pm at the Columbus Wellness Center.
The Columbus Area Parkinson Disease Support Group: The monthly support group invites
speakers to present on information selected by the group. The group meets the
second Thursday of every month from 2:30-4:00 pm at the Columbus Wellness
The PD Resource Library: The PD Resource Library in Rehabilitative Services includes
information from many Parkinson’s resources such as Speak Out!® workbooks,
LSVT-LOUD® and BIG® Homework Helper DVDs and digital sound level meters for The
CCH LOUD Crowd® participants.
The CCH’s Rehabilitative Services will
also be hosting the first Parkinson’s symposium to take place in Columbus, NE in
April 2020. It will include a variety of speakers sharing PD education on a variety
of topics throughout the one-day event. Stay tuned for more information!
more information about the Columbus Community Hospital’s Rehabilitative
Services and the Parkinson’s Wellness Program call the Columbus Wellness Center
at 402-556-3333 or visit https://www.columbushosp.org/our_services/rehabilitative_services/parkinson_wellness_program.aspx.
Dance for PD class helps Lincoln Parkinson’s community
June 3, 2019
Dance for PD is a movement class that empowers people with PD and their caregivers to explore movement and music in enjoyable, stimulating and creative ways to keep and regain mobility.
Why Dance for PD®?
Dance develops flexibility and instills
Dance is first and foremost a stimulating mental
activity that connects mind to body.
Dance breaks isolation.
Dance invokes imagery in the service of graceful
Dance focuses attention on eyes, ears and touch
as tools to assist in movement and balance.
Dance increases awareness of where all parts of
the body are in space.
Dance tells stories.
Dance sparks creativity.
The basis of dance is rhythm.
The essence of dance is joy
About Ruth Davidson Hahn
Ruth Davidson Hahn is professional dancer formerly with the Mark Morris Dance Group. She has been specially trained in the Dance for PD® method.
“Ruth treats each person in the class — the Parkinson’s clients and their accompanying caregivers — as capable of meaningful expression through movement. By practicing real dance warmup moves, the members of her class get an insight into what modern dance is about, from the viewpoint of a professional modern dancer. As an instructor trained in the Dance for Parkinson’s approach, Ruth has a unique way of making her class feel like a choreographed team, while paying close attention to the challenges facing each individual member. ‘There is no bad dancing,’ she says, as she shows you how to get better.” David Fowler, Dance for Parkinson’s Caregiver
Words from one couple who attend Dance for Parkinson’s; “By the end of class each time I was walking on my own and without my walker just as if I weren’t suffering from this terrible malady. Dance for Parkinson’s has to be the best thing for people like me. I was sorry when the class was over. Thanks to Ruth for all her help.” Carolyn Johnsen, Dance for Parkinson’s Participant
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to sponsor the Ruth Davidson Hahn & Company Dance for PD class in Lincoln, NE. Please join us for the next 6-week session beginning on Wednesday, June 26th.
Where: Nebraska Ballet Theatre & School
2620 O St. (map)
When: Wednesdays, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
June 26th – July 31st
Price: $30 for a 6-week session (Anything over $30 is a tax-deductible
Caregivers, spouses or partners free, drop-ins welcome.
Functional aging is a concept that is based on the idea that measurements other than chronological ago can be used to measure someone’s position in the aging process. The Functional Aging Institute (FAI) is a training platform for personal trainers specializing in fitness for older adults. Each year since 2015, it hosts the Functional Aging Summit- the world’s premier fitness, training, and aging event.
Jacey Gengenbach, the instructor for
the Parkinson’s Nebraska- sponsored exercise lass called Strength and Balance, attended
the Summit in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, she was asked to be a speaker at the
Summit. Her presentation was on Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease and she shared
What Parkinson’s Disease
The benefits of
Do’s and don’ts
A training demo
One of her favorites parts of being at
the Summit is being surrounded by fitness and aging experts, learning from
others, and sharing her experiences and knowledge. “The knowledge and passion at this event is truly
amazing… The Summit literally helps you get better at everything.”
clients Jacey works with at Fitness and Beyond also benefit from the Summit because
she is bringing back the latest and greatest in exercise and wellness for
active aging adults. She says that the Summit “helps [professionals] get better
at everything.” Just like that is the goal of the Summit, Jacey’s goal is to
have her clients moving better, feeling better, and doing the things they love
as long as possible.
Additionally, Jacey has co-authored a
book with Functional Aging Institute co-founder, Dan Ritchie titled Active Aging: Functional Fitness to renew
Your Strength, Balance, and Energy for the Best Years Yet. The book
explores functional fitness and how it can “equip you to live life at full strength”.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to have
Jacey as a partner and are grateful for the knowledge and expertise she
provides to the Parkinson’s community. Parkinson’s Nebraska sponsors the
Strength and Balance class at Fitness and Beyond (1032 S. 74th
Plaza, Omaha, NE). Stop by and check it out!
Nate Hall from Style Fitness and Nutrition in Omaha, Nebraska
is an inspiring example of the passion people have for helping the Parkinson’s
community. His journey with Parkinson’s began with his father’s diagnosis.
After his father began to experience symptoms, he was inspired to develop a program
that challenged patients to use their minds and control their body to help slow
the side effects of Parkinson’s.
The class has grown steadily since it began. He expects 10
people in his next class. His class provides more than physical benefits. It
provides comradery and support that you can only get from people going through
the same experience. On February 28th, WOWT did the following story
on Nate’s Maintaining Movements with Parkinson’s Disease class.
Parkinson’s Nebraska is proud to support Nate and the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class. Earlier this week, Parkinson’s Nebraska approved a $563.20 grant for Nate’s class to go towards new equipment including versa tubes, sparring gloves, and an agility ladder. We look forward to partnering with Nate to help create a bigger impact in the Parkinson’s community. Below is more information on the Maintaining Movements for Parkinson’s class:
Maintaining Movements with Nate Style Fitness and Nutrition 15117 Industrial Rd. Every other Friday @ 5 p.m.– next class: 3/8/19 Cost: FREE Contact Name: Nate Hall Phone: 402-719-7853 Email: email@example.com Website: stylefitnessomaha.com
The next class will be held at Style Fitness and Nutrition on Friday, March 8th at 5:00 pm. The class is currently offered every other Friday, but Nate is working with Parkinson’s Nebraska to expand the number of classes offered. Contact Nate at 402-719-7853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Role of Environmental Factors in Parkinson’s Development Investigated in Review Study
February 4, 2019
The hallmark presence of Lewy bodies in the pathway related to sense of smell and in the gut years before a Parkinson’s diagnosis, as well as the potential cumulative impact of different triggers, may help researchers understand the environmental factors that contribute to the development of the disease, according to a review study.
How coffee might protect against Parkinson’s
January 18, 2019
Coffee is thought to protect the brain against Parkinson’s disease. A recent study investigates which compounds might give coffee its neuroprotective powers. The findings may eventually lead to innovative new treatments.
Woman confronts Parkinson’s disease with jabs and upper-cuts
January 10, 2019
“I find it exhilarating. I love boxing, and I never thought I would love it as much as I do. By the time I leave I feel much more energized and much more limber,” said the 52-year-old, who said she sees Parkinson’s much different than she did when she was first diagnosed.
Two of Parkinson’s Nebraska board members, Michelle Faulkner and Dan Lombardo, serve on the Panel of Experts for the NET series Now What? Understanding Parkinson’s Disease. The panel discusses what Parkinson’s Disease is, the signs and symptoms, treatments, and research on the horizon.