Parkinson Social Network

Let’s Dance!

Dance for PD class

Dance for PD is coming to town for it’s annual visit!
Dance for PDSaturday, March 2, 2019
11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Where? Hylton Performing Arts Center
10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA 20109

There’s always a buzz when the Mark Morris Dance Group and Dance for PD comes to town! Come and join in their free movement class for person’s with Parkinson’s and their families, friends and care partners. No dance experience is required. Led by teaching artists from the Mark Morris Dance Group, you’ll explore movement and music in a non-pressured, social environment.

You can register online at
or by phone at 1-800-957-1046, ext. 5.
Dance for PD flyer 2019 and help share the news!

I haven’t had a chance to attend yet, but I always hear about what a wonderful time people had. Every month I post their latest streamed class in Out & About and on our website so if you’d like to get an idea of what a class is like, click here.

But wait! There’s more!
The Mark Morris Dance Group will also be performing at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall in Fairfax for 2 performances only, March 1 and 2 at 8:00 pm. For more information and tickets, visit or call 703-993-2787.

Growing Resilience: Mindfulness & Body Awareness for People with Parkinson’s Disease
A 6 week class: Sundays: April 7, 14, 28 * May 5 * June 2, 9

This 6-week class series is specially designed to bring the benefits of mindfulness and body connection to people with Parkinson’s, and empower them towards greater inner resilience, well-being and quality of life.

This class combines strategies and techniques drawn from the clinically studied, complimentary medicine program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with therapeutic yoga practices. All elements are designed to heighten relaxation and improve breath, movement, and body awareness, while reducing body tension and addressing symptoms of depression and anxiety often experienced by people with Parkinson’s.
Participants will receive follow-up support for each 90-minute class, including a weekly video download offering a short home practice highlighting adaptive yoga-based movements to improve stability, balance, and flexibility. Participants will also receive (2) 60-minute private sessions—one each with Trisha and Carolyn respectively, designed to help customize supportive home practices further. The cost is $345.00.

The class will be co-led by Insight Shop founder, director, and longtime MBSR instructor Trisha Stotler, and Heart Tree Yoga owner and certified yoga therapist Carolyn Black-Bagdoyan, creator of THRIVE: Supporting People with Parkinson’s Through Yoga Therapeutics.
Questions? or 703-862-5922.

Volunteers needed for LSVT/LOUD training – tomorrow
Saturday, February 9, 2:00 – 4:00pm
Where? 2155 G St NW, Washington DC
GWU is training it’s graduate students in LSVT/LOUD therapy and is looking for people with Parkinson’s to volunteer as practice patients. Volunteers participating this one day will receive reduced rates on future individual speech therapy sessions at the GWU speech and hearing center.
Contact: Melanie Dorn,   |   571 215 8564

2 Michael J Fox Foundation studies
Two studies were sent to me this week to share with you.
1)  Exploring Psychosis in Parkinson’s disease and Caregiver/Care-Partner Burden. This study will collect information from a caregiver/care-partner of someone with Parkinson’s disease about how they describe psychosis. Also, they would like to understand the impact psychosis has on caregivers/care-partners. This project can be done from home at a time that is convenient for you. (Thanks, Angela!)
If you are interested in learning more and perhaps participating, please contact Gina Mamikonyan Research Coordinator 215-375-4217
2) Steven wrote, “Fox Insight is organizing an internet-based development of a PD database. They hope to include information (family health, patient symptoms, impact of PD on day-to-day life) from 125,000 PD patients.”
More information at (Thanks, Steven!)

Hope to see you out and about again soon!


Eat Well & Keep Moving

Nordic walking

One of the special things about our Parkinson Social Network is how much we learn from each other. Most of the announcements about programs, workshops, webinars, etc. that I post are sent to me by friends in our community who hope that the information will be of interest to others. I hear about others at cafes when an attendee shares a story about a service or product that they’ve benefited from. I hope you find these announcements helpful, and continue to pass them on to me so I can share them, but with the understanding that posting them is not an endorsement by Parkinson Social Network.

There’s that word again! Apart from helping to reduce your symptoms, improving your posture and balance to prevent falls, and keeping your brain sharp, what’s it good for? So much more, including how it helps us all to feel better when we keep moving. This week information about a couple of Parkinson specific exercise programs landed in my inbox:
1) Parkinson’s Regeneration Training: They are offering a training session in D.C. on March 9 & 10, 2019. Click here for more info.
2)  Daily Dose PD: You can subscribe for custom workouts.

Dance for PD® has released it’s streamed class for this month.
Dance for PDAnyone can join these classes from the comfort of their home! This particular class is taught by Janelle Barry. Click here to view and participate in Janelle’s class. To check out their archive and keep on movin’ to the music click here.

Timing 4 Life
We learned about this at our Cafe Ashburn last week. “Interactive Metronome® technology can aid those who have motor planning and sequencing challenges, speech and language delays, motor and sensory disorders, learning deficits, and various cognitive and physical difficulties.” People with Parkinson’s and senior drivers can benefit from this program. Click here for more information. Thank you Rebecca, for sharing!

The 2019 Parkinson’s Disease Community Seminar
Presented by the Four State Alliance for Parkinson’s Support (4SAPS) and the Otterbein United Methodist Church.
Friday, April 12, 2019 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in Hagerstown MD.
4SAPS Group Members are from: Hagerstown, MD • Frederick, MD (Two Groups) • Cumberland, MD • Mechanicsburg, PA • Gettysburg, PA • New Oxford, PA • Chambersburg, PA • Winchester, VA
Click here to view their flyer for more information. Please share this information with friends and family who live in or near this area.

More nutrition
Click here to check out a video entitled Food for Thought: Diet & Nutrition in PD by Laura Mischley ND PhD MPH. Peggy says, “Dr. Mischley from Bastyr University has been conducting a study on alternative and complementary care in progression of PD. I’ve been participating for about 2 years; they send out a thorough questionnaire and food diary to respond to every 3 months. Her findings (in the video) are interesting and encouraging.” Thank you Peggy, for sharing this information with us!

Free Webinar – Seeing Clearly with PD: Vision Changes
Brought to you by the Parkinson’s Foundation and Alliance of Regional Parkinson Organizations (AIRPO).
Visual changes can impact daily function and quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. In this webinar, Dr. Daniel R. Gold will share the most common visual changes, explain why these conditions exist and address ways to treat them.
Learn more about vision changes with PD, such as ocular surface irritation, hallucinations and blurry vision, by registering for a free webinar taking place on
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET.
Speaker: Dan Gold, DO, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Register here to watch online or listen by phone. CEUs available for social workers and healthcare professionals.
For more details, please contact the Parkinson’s Foundation’s Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) or

If you’re looking for information about vision and Parkinson’s from a local source . . .
Dr. Dresely, a Developmental Optometrist practicing locally in Chantilly, Virginia, will be speaking to the Ashburn support group at their monthly support group meeting on:
Tuesday, February 5, at 1:30 pm at Ashby Ponds.
If you’d like to attend this meeting, please contact Gary Heinberg (703) 303-4446.
You may recall Dr. Dresely spoke to our Fairfax and Ashburn Cafes last year. Click here to read my blog post about his visit to Cafe Fairfax.

The VetAssist® Program
We heard about this program from Ernie last week, and how it helped his family. Veterans Home Care, the company that offers this program can help you determine if you qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit. They furnish an interest-free loan so you can pay for home care while the VA processes your application. Click here to learn more.

A message from Fairfax County about their Older Adult Community Survey
In February, thousands of randomly selected older adults in the Fairfax area will find yellow post cards in their mailboxes inviting them to participate in a survey. The county has contracted with the National Research Center to conduct the survey, the results of which will be informative in helping to create a more age-friendly community. All responses are anonymous. Please help “spread the word” about the survey. If you hear of anyone receiving a post card, please encourage them to participate in the survey that will be mailed to them in a couple of weeks after receiving the post card. For more information, click here.

Save the date for Cafe Fairfax! – Wednesday, February 20
Grace Lynch, Manager, Communications and Community Outreach, Division of Adult and Aging Services for Fairfax County, will be visiting us and helping us figure out what to do in order to listen to podcasts and watch webinars. Grace will be joined by Jim Person, the host for the Fairfax 50+ podcasts. You may remember that Carol and I joined him for a chat last October. Jim will talk with us about the history of podcasting and share his thoughts on where it is going as a media channel.

Many of our friends in our Parkinson’s community find it difficult to get out and about as much as they would like. Podcasts and webinars are a way for them to stay informed. I hope you can join us this month as we learn from Grace and Jim. I’m excited, and looking forward to it!

Hope to see you out and about again soon!


Music & Memory

Music is the medicine of the mind

The topic of conversation at our cafes this month was about Music and Memory. Christi Clark, Executive Director of Insight Memory Care Center talked about it with us at our Cafe Fairfax last week, and then we shared what we learned at our Cafes Alexandria and Ashburn. Insight has been awarded $500,000, and is working with George Mason University, to bring the Music and Memory program to 114 nursing homes in Virginia. Very exciting news!

We learned that music can calm anxiety and depression symptoms, and enhance verbal memory and learning new information. The songs we tend to remember best are from our late teens and early twenties. The key is to create a personal playlist, not just of a favorite artist or a favorite album, but the songs that have the most meaning and trigger happy memories for the individual. Have you ever listened to an album and skipped songs that you didn’t like as much? With a personal play list on an iPod or MP3 player, you can exclude those songs and just listen to your favorites.

We shared handouts that we received from Christi. If you click on the titles, you can download them. All three are PDFs.
The Power of Music: How Music Affects Us and Our Brains
The other two were:
Music Assessment Questionnaire and
Music Genre/Artist Preference Matrix.
You can use these to create your own personal playlist.
This can be an ongoing activity and a way to engage someone in conversation and sharing memories.

Music is life.If you, or someone you know, is downsizing and looking for a new home for iPods or MP3 players, and CD’s (as long as they are an appropriate genre) Insight is happy to accept your donations. Please drop your items off at their center (3953 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030) or email Christi at They may have workshops in the future about their Music and Memory program and I’ll be sure to let you know when and where.

Music can also help with movement which is why we feature the latest updates from Dance for PD each month. They have an archive of classes that you can watch and move along with. Click here for more information on our Community Events page.

Cafe Ashburn
Wow! What a turnout we had this month! Thank you to everyone who attended and welcome to those of you who joined us for the first time. We talked about Music and Memory and shared handouts. We also talked about the video on nutrition that I shared with you last week. I’m repeating it below for those of you who may have missed it.
After our cafe, we spoke to staff at Tribute at One Loudoun about moving to another area in the community as the room we were using is needed for other activities. We will now be meeting in part of the dining room around the corner. We’ll help you find us when you come next month.

for January 26 Fair Oaks Parkinson’s support group meeting

Due to an outbreak of flu at Sunrise, the Fair Oaks Folks are moving our January 26th meeting (this Saturday) to another location. The time is still from 10:00 am – 12 noon.

The Cancer Center Bldg.
3580 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax   map

This building is on the Fair Oaks Hospital campus, just down the street from Sunrise and across the street from the main hospital. There is handicap parking in front and across the street.

  • Enter the building and go down the hall to the elevator on your left
  • Go down to the lower level
  • Take a left turn off the elevator and through the glass doors
  • You will see Conference rooms A and B in front of you
  • You have arrived!

Sonia, Ruth Ann, and Regina will be talking about hospitalization and Parkinson’s – Prepare For Your Care:  How to come home from hospital in better shape than when you went in. We look forward to seeing you there.
More information about the Fair Oaks Parkinson support group on their website.

Folks in and around Alexandria might be interested in this event in February.
Senior Services of Alexandria presents: Staying Connected in Your Community
Thursday, February 14, 2019
10:00 a.m.-Noon (Registration at 9:30)
Where? Westminster Presbyterian Church
2701 Cameron Mills Road, Alexandria, VA
Come find out all the ways to get connected in the city of Alexandria to meet new friends, learn about its history and get involved! There will be representatives from: Volunteer Alexandria, Office of Historic Alexandria, No. VA Community College, City of Alexandria’s Office of Public Information
This event is free and open the public. Refreshments will be provided.
Please RSVP online at or by calling (703) 836 4414 ext. 110.

Nutrition for Parkinson’s
healthy foodsLast week I found a video on nutrition that really impressed me and I wrote about it in last week’s issue of Out & About and our blog. This week I heard from several people who really appreciated it (thank you for your feedback!), and I mentioned at our cafes this week that I would repeat it in case people missed it last week.

  • The panel in the video consists of two doctors and a patient, and addresses a number of issues I’ve been asked about such as protein and levodopa, unintentional weight loss, constipation, supplements, and more. They’ve packed a lot of good explanations and suggestions into 35 minutes, and I highly recommend it. Click here to view – it’s episode 3 on this page.
  • This video is on, part of the ParkinsonNet initiative – (this is the link for the English language version) – led by Prof. dr Bastiaan Bloem. I heard Dr. Bloem speak at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016, and I appreciate how his explanations are so easy to understand.
  • Season one on ParkinsonTV covers the basics, and in season two they discuss mental health. In the episode on nutrition, they refer to the episode on medications (episode 2), and it’s worth watching, too. If you’re looking for something to do when you’re housebound on these snow/ice days, how about checking out these TV shows?

Keep Moving

Often at our cafes we talk about the various exercise classes people are attending, such as Alec’s Rock Steady Boxing classes. Click here to check out our Keep Moving page which includes information about Alec’s classes.

Hope to see you out and about again soon!


Nutrition for Parkinson’s

healthy foods

This week I was asked if I could recommend someone local who has a good understanding of nutrition for Parkinson people. I’m not aware of anyone, so I did some research online and found a video that really impressed me. The panel addresses a number of issues I’ve been asked about such as protein and levodopa, unintentional weight loss, constipation, supplements, and more. They’ve packed a lot of good explanations and suggestions into 35 minutes, and I highly recommend it. Click here to view – it’s episode 3 on this page.

This video is on, part of the ParkinsonNet initiative – (this is the link for the English language version) – led by Prof. dr Bastiaan Bloem. I heard Dr. Bloem speak at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016, and I appreciate how his explanations are so easy to understand.

Season one on ParkinsonTV covers the basics, and in season two they discuss mental health. In the episode on nutrition, they refer to the episode on medications (episode 2), and it’s worth watching, too. If you’re looking for something to do when you’re housebound on these snow/ice days, how about checking out these TV shows?

Cough and Cold Medication
cough syrup & spoonThis week I was also reminded about an issue with cough and cold medications, because it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? Here’s some helpful information from an educational supplement provided by the American Parkinson Disease Association, Medications To Be Avoided Or Used With Caution In Parkinson’s Disease:
medications that should not be taken with selegiline HcL (eldepryl, Deprenyl, Zelapar) and rasagiline (Azilect) – cough suppressant / Dextromethorphan / Numerous Brands.
With these over the counter (OTC) medications, it’s up to us to read the label. However, I’ve found that the instructions often give ‘fine print’ a whole new meaning, and this information about Parkinson’s is really hard to find. It’s a good idea to check with your physician or pharmacist before taking OTC cough and cold medications.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month – out of town events
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and information about events are starting to appear in my inbox. I thought I’d share these two with you so if you’re interested, you can save the dates on your calendar.
1)  The Parkinson’s Unity Walk takes place in New York City’s Central Park every year. The 25th walk will be on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Click here for more info. (If you watch the video from last year you might see a couple of familiar faces – time 2:02)
2)  The APDA Hampton Roads 2019 Optimism Walk at Neptune Park (31st and the Boardwalk) Virginia Beach is on Saturday, April 13, 2019; 9am to Noon. For details on setting up your team or joining one, call 757-495-3062 or check out

For Caregivers
This blog is written by a woman to support her sister who is caring for her husband with Alzheimer’s, every day she posts a reflection and note of support for her sister. It usually begins with a meditation on nature and ends with an instruction to give emotional support to caregivers. It’s very thoughtful and well-written. Recommended by Kristen – thank you!
Janet shares her experiences as a caregiver for her husband, Charles, who lived with progressive supranuclear palsy, or PSP, a Parkinson-plus disorder. You can sign up on her website to receive a free weekly affirmation for caregivers (click here for examples). There are books and webinars, too. Ruth Ann has often shared the affirmations with us – thank you!

Hope to see you out and about again soon! Maybe next Monday at Cafe Alexandria or on Wednesday at Cafe Ashburn?


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