Human resources

Parkinson’s Resources available from Touchmark

Presented by Beltone – A leader in audience Health care.

April is National Parkinson’s Awareness Month, a great time to learn more about this disease which affects approximately 1 million people in the United States. With 60,000 cases diagnosed annually, that number is expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030. A progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain, Parkinson’s disease (PD) causes speech problems, swallowing, gait and voluntary/involuntary disorders. movements.

Along with medications and lifestyle changes, regular exercise is one of the best ways to slow disease progression. Prescott resident Dave Maurer has lived with the MP since 2012. In 2020, he and his wife Nancy moved to the retirement community Touchmark at The Ranch, where all staff are trained through the Struthers Parkinson’s Care Network to identify the symptoms of PD. He started working with certified fitness professionals at Touchmark Health & Fitness Club. After two years of dedicated staff support with PD-specific training, Maurer now enjoys exercising three days a week with people who understand his abilities and goals.

Resources and Support Prove Powerful for People Living with Parkinson's Disease Signals az

Photo courtesy of Touchmark.

Maurer says his balance has improved a bit, but his confidence and stamina have improved the most. “My coaches and I do specific balance exercises each time. I also take the PWR! Moves class, which uses walking poles, hoops, and other tools that make it fun and fast. It’s useful to have my two coaches telling me that I’m fine, and it’s good to have them to help me, which makes me feel like I’ve really improved.

This feeling is why Touchmark Health and Fitness Director Nick Brown says exercise is medicine. “Not only does regular, ability-appropriate exercise help overcome the physical limitations of PD, it also improves mental toughness and allows people with PD to feel accomplished even when the going is tough. Our job as fitness professionals is to meet people where they are and also be there for them emotionally,” says Brown.

Maurer’s wife is also his carer. She saw how Touchmark’s resources benefited her husband. “One of the things with Parkinson’s is that sometimes Dave wakes up and just doesn’t feel well,” she says. “He doesn’t feel like going to train with the coach, but if he pushes himself to go anyway, he invariably comes home feeling better. It’s very counter-intuitive when you just want to go back to bed, but it’s amazing to me how good it feels after training.

The Maurers also participate in the PD support group offered at Touchmark and encourage others in the Prescott area to attend. There is no charge and it is open to the public. “Even though every person with PD is different, there is a commonality when people can come together and share their experiences,” says Nancy. “It’s reassuring.”

Walking and sharing their dogs with others, playing pétanque and gardening in their raised beds fill the Maurers’ days. “They are a testament to what a positive attitude with the right resources in the right environment can mean for people living with PD and their caregivers,” notes Brown.

To learn more about PD support options available through Touchmark, call 928-632-7800 or visit

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