Thoughts on the PFNCA Symposium

Ladies, I spent yesterday at the PFNCA Symposium.  It was a wonderful, educational experience and I recommend you attend one at some point.

One of the best things, to me, was discovering how many people I have come to know and realizing that, indeed I’ve become part of this community.  I was happy to see others from our group there.  I visited with the Fair Oaks therapist, Joy, who runs the exercise class I attend.  I also finally met the Winchester group’s leader, Cheryl Reames, who has been gracious and helpful as our group was taking shape and is responsible for Dr. Dietz coming to speak to our group.  Then there was Karl Robb, author of the  wonderful book, “A Soft Voice in a Noisy World”, and his wife/ helpmate/ CEO /dance partner, Angela.  Angela just received recognition at the White House as a “Champion for Change”! I just accidentally ran into Lisa Branick from Sibley, who we are indebted to for bringing us a couple of our members.  I also saw Dr. Stephenson in passing and later attended his session on driving.

Besides the sense of community, many of the topics: non-motor symptoms, depression and cognitive /behavioral changes, employment law, navigating hospitalization among others were timely and valuable.  The topic that I was most interested in was “Thriving with Parkinson’s Disease”.  I took notes on that and will post a summary soon.  My favorite take-away from that was about exercise and healthy living.  The speaker, Dr. Stephen  Grill, said, “You should be in better shape than your peers”. It certainly gave me an easy measure as to how I’m doing.

The symposium also brought us possible new opportunities.  I met the director of the “Rock Steady” program, a boxing exercise program designed for people with Parkinson’s.  All his classes are in DC right now.  I asked what it would take to get him to come to Virginia, too, and he said, “Ask”.  Ask I will as all exercises are good for us and variety helps fight boredom and keeps us challenged.

Someone else told me of an opportunity for Tai Chi through a learning center in conjunction with GMU.  I liked it before and would be excited to try again.

The most unusual offer was from a woman for a jewelry appraisal “party” through Paradigm Experts.  We could bring heirloom jewelry to a meeting and share stories about its history and get appraisals.  Lynne Haddon, from Right at Home home care, introduced it as a fun meeting idea so we can discuss where or if it fits and there’s interest.  We are lucky to have so many people thinking of our group.

I hope to see all of you on Wednesday.  I have freebies from the symposium for you to take as desired.

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