10th Annual Parkinson’s Event Designed to Raise Awareness of the Disease
Joy, gratitude and resilience are three words to live by, according to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury guest speaker Dr. Sarah K. Lageman, Neuropsychology program director at VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, who will speak on “Living Well with Parkinson’s Disease” at RWC’s 10th annual Parkinson’s Awareness event on Wednesday, April 12.
Lageman is a clinical neuropsychology expert with a focus on adult and geriatric populations with Parkinson’s disease and other movement-related disorders.
“I will talk about the choices we make to help us cope, including living every day in the moment,” she said. “Unfortunately, because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease and different ailments can come up at different times, patients and their caregivers often stress over what will happen next and how is this going to progress. If we can instead focus on taking control of our overall lifestyle choices and increasing our resilience and joy for the moment, it will help us better deal with the illness.”
The presentation will begin at 1 p.m. in the Chesapeake Center Auditorium on RWC’s campus, 132 Lancaster Dr., Irvington. RWC and community residents are invited to this free educational program.
Before the presentation, area organizations will be on hand to offer additional resources including VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, the Parkinson’s Disease Research Education and Clinical Center from Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center, Carousel Physical Therapy, Visiting Angels, At Home with RWC and RWC and its Parkinson’s Support Group. Attendees may wish to arrive at 12:30 p.m. to visit with these groups.
Lageman who has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Florida, said exercise is the No. 1 treatment to help ward off the debilitation of the disease. “Many people with Parkinson’s also isolate themselves,” she said. “Seeking out connections with others and finding creative ways to break out of negative expectations are other healthy lifestyle choices."
Rita De Pew, volunteer coordinator of the Parkinson’s Support Group at RWC, said she is delighted that Lageman will speak at the annual gathering. “Anyone interested in how to manage with Parkinson’s or how to care for a loved one with Parkinson’s will benefit immensely from Dr. Lageman’s presentation. Her message of inspiration will make a significant and positive impact on our health and lives.
In addition to this annual educational event, RWC sponsors several initiatives for those with Parkinson’s, their families and their care partners. The “Fit to Move” program provides RWC residents and community members
with neuromuscular disorders a chance to participate in group exercises three times a week. RWC also sponsors a support group for individuals with Parkinson’s and their care partners, and another exclusively for care partners.
These programs are underwritten by grants and individual contributions to the RWC Foundation, so there is no charge to participate.
Beverages and dessert will be served. To learn more and register, call Rita DePew at 804-435-9553 by April 5. Seating is limited. RWC will honor reservations in the order received.