Defying Parkinson's: A Look at Parkinson Place
Larry Hoffheimer says the inspiration for Parkinson Place hit him long ago, when he was a healthcare attorney in Washington D.C.
"I became very enamored with the plight Parkinson’s patients had to undergo"
When he retired and moved to Florida he started the Parkinson Research Foundation, that was just the beginning.
"Reached out to Marilyn Tait, who I’d worked with many years ago, who spent many years as a neuroscience nurse."
"i had been doing Parkinson’s disease for quite a long time by that time and i established a real love and commitment for them because it is such a difficult disease and their needs are great. So when Larry had the opportunity to do a site where they could have all of their needs met, i said yeah."
Parkinson place opened in 2012, and offers free programs 5 days a week
"Everything from motivational to exercise."
That Marilyn tailored specifically for both the Parkinson’s patient and caregiver, like boxing for mobility and singing for speech.
"i wanted the place to be fun, to be a happy place"
Even a caregiver's support group. And it's all free.
"I always say to my Parkinson’s family if you have Parkinson’s disease you are very, very special. And you deserve very special care."
"Doctors have noticed a difference in their activities in daily living and their spirit and happiness that you won't find anywhere else."
And a family Tait says is hard to come by.
"Friendship and support and fun, I mean we have anniversary parties, we dance at your 64th wedding anniversary, whatever."
She says she doesn't focus on the disease, instead on how it affects those who walk through the door.
"These beautiful men and women, and that's where my focus has always been. This is their challenge: how can Parkinson Place make it better."