Parkinson’s disease isn’t slowing Bob Newlin down anymore. He’s built strength and improved his balance and coordination with rehabilitation therapy at the Good Samaritan Society.
The rehab therapy team quickly noticed how motivated and determined he is.
“Bob has the dedication to improve. It makes all the difference in the world,” says Toni Hobbs, therapy supervisor at Good Samaritan Society – Hot Springs Village in Arkansas. “I tell all of my patients that we are 10% of their recovery and they’re 90% of it.”
Two types of rehabilitation therapy, LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD, help people like Bob who are living with Parkinson’s disease.
LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD involve one-on-one time with a rehabilitation therapist four times a week for four weeks. LSVT LOUD is a speech therapy program focusing on vocal loudness to improve intelligibility, while LSVT BIG is a physical or occupational therapy program promoting big movements to improve posture and walking ability.
Bob’s fine and large motor skills have improved immensely. He’s able to do things more easily and efficiently.
“I can now use a keyboard much faster than I could a year ago,” Bob says. “I can operate a pencil again so I can write a check that’s legible. I can whisk an egg in a bowl. I can put on a pair of jeans in less than a minute. My gait and stride are longer and more stable.”
Benefits beyond therapy
After LSVT therapy, Bob became a regular participant in the Rock Steady Boxing group class at Good Samaritan Society – Hot Springs Village. The class helps him maintain the function he’s gained through LSVT.
“Rock Steady Boxing is a different experience every time,” Bob says. “There are days we’ll work on balance by walking on uneven surfaces and there’re days we work on cardio.”
The classes include a moment of fellowship and an uplifting chant at the end.
“There is nothing like Rock Steady Boxing for balance, stamina and hand-eye coordination,” states Bob.
In addition to improving his physical health, Bob is strengthening his mental health by attending the Parkinson’s support group at Good Samaritan Society – Hot Springs Village.
“It provides face-to-face interaction with people that are like me,” Bob says. “That’s how I learned about Rock Steady Boxing. I’m getting a lot of value from participating in the support group. With Toni Hobbs and Misty Parrish serving as co-leaders, the monthly group meetings bring people with Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s caregivers together to share in roundtable conversations, interact with professionals and present topics on their subject matter expertise. We also celebrate joys and successes and provide words of encouragement for those facing new challenges.”
With Toni’s and Misty’s leadership, the group has met for monthly dinner gatherings at local restaurants, advocated for Parkinson’s awareness and organized a holiday potluck. Each event provides a sense of purpose and promotes wellness.
Proximity, culture and expertise
Bob credits three things at Good Samaritan Society – Hot Springs Village for his improved well-being.
“I keep coming back to the same things: proximity, culture and expertise,” he says.
The friendly therapists and other staff members treat everyone with care and concern.
“I’ve always left here with a feeling of accomplishment and never a feeling of saying, ‘Oh man, I don't want to go back tomorrow.’” Bob says. “What happens here are miracles.”