The Parkinson Voice Project awarded Plymouth Village and the University of Redlands with a grant to help facilitate speech therapy for residents living with Parkinson’s Disease.
Plymouth Village and University of Redlands were among nearly 100 organizations nationwide to be named recipients of the Project’s national grant program, which awarded a combined total of $650,000. The grant program will provide professional training and resources to bolster the community’s therapy program launched in January 2017.
“We’re excited about being selected. It was a very competitive process,” says Julie Shuler, the clinic director for the University of Redlands’s department of communication sciences and disorders. Shuler also oversees the Truesdail Center, which offers speech, language and hearing therapy for adults and children living with communication disabilities.
“The Parkinson Voice Project giving us that recognition in our program says that they want to support us and see the program grow.”
Shuler, who serves on the advisory board for Plymouth Village, helped Plymouth Village launch the therapy program in January 2017. The two-part speech therapy program, which was developed by the Parkinson Voice Project, is in conjunction with the University’s graduate clinical training program. About seven residents currently participate in the program held at the community.
The first segment of the program is known as “Speak Out,” in which residents are given individual therapy sessions that includes speech, voice and cognitive exercises. Next, they move on to group therapy known as “Loud Crowd” which helps to further and maintain their speaking abilities.
In addition to speech therapy, the community offers a fitness component led by Catherine Ferguson, the community’s lifestyle coordinator. She takes them through a series of exercises to enhance their range of motion, build strength and confidence in movement.
“I have had more residents who have participated in the program and have expressed how thankful they are,” says Keith Kasin, executive director. “Also family members have come to me and have shared how much of a difference they have seen in their family members; that’s exciting to me.”
More than 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson’s disease, and 89 percent of those are at risk of losing their ability to speak, according to the Parkinson Voice Project. The Richardson, Texas-based nonprofit is dedicated to preserving voices of those with Parkinson’s using their two-part therapy approach.