(Pictured) Allen Slater, who has Parkinson’s disease, practices tossing a basketball with his rehab therapist Amy Nichols, PT, DPT.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder that affects every patient differently. For retired Judge Allen Slater of Olathe, Parkinson’s affects his balance, strength and endurance, as well as his speech. Allen was diagnosed four years ago, but his health took a turn for the worse in the spring of 2016. After a stay in the hospital, followed by time in an inpatient rehabilitation facility, Allen returned home unable to walk very far without assistance.
Allen’s doctor referred him to the Parkinson’s disease outpatient rehab therapy program (LSVT) at Olathe Medical Center. Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists provide a full range of therapy services designed specifically for Parkinson’s patients. The focus is on helping patients achieve functional goals, including getting around safely, preventing falls, improving self-care abilities like eating, dressing, personal hygiene and other tasks of daily living, and improving the ability to speak clearly.
The therapy team evaluated Allen and designed an individualized outpatient treatment plan for him. The therapists also consulted with his family and medical team to develop strategies to help Allen regain his mobility and continue to live his life as independently as possible. After weeks of regular appointments and lots of time spent doing his exercises at home, Allen was finally able to walk the length of Oak Park Mall without assistance.
“My wife loved practicing that with me,” laughed Allen. “I’ve benefited greatly from therapy, and I can absolutely see improvements in my strength and endurance. I would like to say thank you to all the people who work at OMC.”