Not only is Velda Hudnall of Great Bend the biggest cheerleader for her husband, Harold, she also is rooting for the local Parkinson’s Support Group at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center. Harold was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 13 years ago.
The next support group meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the basement-level St. Dominic Room at St. Rose. Velda strongly encourages anyone with Parkinson’s, as well as their families and friends to attend.
One of the main topics will be BIG therapy, which recently became available at St. Rose’s Rehab Services. Harold is now participating in the BIG program, which involves making large arm and leg movements to increase strength and flexibility.
Therapists focus on limb rotation, gait, speed and balance. In Harold’s case, therapy is four times a week for four weeks.
“It has only been a short time so far,” Velda said, “but Sister Mary Vuong has noticed that he is not as stiff. This stiffness is a common Parkinson’s symptom.”
Sister Mary is a St. Rose registered occupational therapist.
Velda helps during the sessions and in daily life by participating in the program as “kind of a coach.”
She is hoping for a good turnout at support group meetings so more people can learn about exercises, nutrition and other topics important to Parkinson’s patients.
“You learn a lot and the meetings give you a boost – and we all need a boost now and then,” Velda commented. “You think you are the only one going through this but you aren’t. The meetings lift our spirits.
“Harold has always been an enthusiastic and positive person, and that attitude is helping him now,” Velda added.
In addition to Parkinson’s, Harold has Lewy Body Disease, which is a form of dementia. “But no matter what, we keep going,” Velda said. “And thanks to St. Rose and its willingness to offer new therapies, Parkinson’s patients can have a better quality of life.”