Our 1st Residences at Coffee Creek 5K Fun Run Raises $1,000 for Our Parkinson’s Support Group to Expand Service

Thanks to our more than 50 runners who braved the rainy and cool weather April 22 for our first Fun Run in honor of our new Parkinson’s Support Group.  In addition to our runners we received many donations from throughout our communities. 

Thanks to all, the Parkinson’s support Group will begin meeting each week at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays.  This provides the opportunity for families to share with each other more frequently. Even more importantly, the “Big and Loud” special exercise program for patients who have Parkinson’s will now be available every week, also at 10 a.m. Wednesdays.

This unique exercise program is key to helping patients maintain movement which is so interrupted by Parkinson’s. Residences at Coffee Creek Senior Living is pleased to continue as host site to the therapists coming from Orthopedic & Balance Specialists.  The public is invited to participate at no charge.


About Parkinson’s and the Founders of the Support Group

This chronic, progressive movement disorder affects over a million U.S. seniors.  While April is the designated month for Parkinson’s Awareness, we are adamant about our new role as an advocate every month of the year! Residences at Coffee Creek offers an important message of hope to Parkinson’s patients and their families wondering what to do next when the diagnosis is Parkinson’s or when it has progressed. Simply put, take advantage of resources close to home and don’t go it alone.  This we have learned through a program we now host weekly for those with Parkinson’s, their families and caregivers.

“New people come every time,” according to Evelyn Morrison and Linda Stack, who, along with Deb Butterfield , whose mother had Parkinson’s, are founders of The Parkinson’s Support Group and Exercise Class, the only group in Porter County.  “It’s free and everyone is invited, enabling all to see what a difference coming together can make,” explain Evelyn and Linda. Their husbands attend the specialized exercise program for Parkinson’s, “Big and Loud” led by Joe Lucio, physical therapist with Orthopedic & Balance Specialists, while they share their challenges during support group.

“Deb and Linda introduced this model to our community through our new support group,” Evelyn notes. “We became aware of its success where it is used at The Villages, in Florida.  Linda adds. “Our husbands appreciate working with Joe, then joining our group.” 

Evelyn’s mother lives in Residences at Coffee Creek.  When Evelyn suggested that the assisted living might be an ideal backdrop for the program, Natalie Reisen, Marketing Director, and Executive Director Kaitlynn Redmon welcomed the opportunity .  Residences at Coffee Creek Senior Living was impressed by the uniqueness of this approach, providing a specialty therapy for Parkinson’s plus the ability to attend a dedicated support group. We knew it was not only a great opportunity to host the support group but also a way to make it accessible for the public to attend.

“Residents and families attend sessions. Our staff is better informed about signs and symptoms, the importance of movement every day, and the emotional  issues of living with Parkinson’s.  We learned how easily it creates a feeling of isolation as a person struggles on a daily basis. Meetings offer time to exchange feelings and coping tips,” noted Kaitlynn. “Assisted living is home. Our staff are extended caregivers for families finding their loved ones need more than they are able to provide. Long-term care has an obligation and privilege to host programs benefiting and helping older adults age in place.”

Evelyn and Derek Morrison, left, and Linda and Bill Stack initiated the Parkinson’s Support Group for Porter County residents.

The founders recommend assessing senior communities when considering a move. 

Is there a nurse available 24/7? Discuss the special Parkinson’s dietary needs; can the family meet with the Chef?  Has staff been trained for nuances in symptoms and behaviors? Could activities be tailored to meet the constant need for movement? Is there a therapy room on-site?  What effort is made to ensure residents are engaged in socialization?

The support group meetings are held every Wednesday at 10 a.m.   The “Big and Loud” therapy session conducted by specially trained physical therapists from Orthopedic and Balance Specialists also meets at the same time.

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