Meet the Bonnemas! A Parkinson’s Go! Group Story
Life with Parkinson’s Disease
When Dale Bonnema was first diagnosed, he had no idea what Parkinson’s Disease was, and that it was a scary place to be in. Although there is much about PD that is uncontrollable, taking an active role in treatment, including adhering to a medication schedule and making healthy lifestyle choices, can provide a sense of control and help people with PD live their lives to the fullest.
Once Dale got into therapy at Generation Care, a plan was developed for his treatment and it worked. But a key factor in Dale’s progress and perhaps the most important one involved his caregiver. Dale’s wife, Kay has had a huge impact on his overall success in treatment.
In addition to the patient with Parkinson’s, a caregiver’s life can also change dramatically with this diagnosis. All of the therapists involved in Dale’s treatment were sensitive to this fact; being sure to include both the patient and the caregiver in the creation, maintenance, and evolution of the treatment plan. With physical, occupational, and speech therapists treating both Dale and informing his wife Kay along the way, the improvement they saw was immediate.
In addition to individual treatment, the Bonnema’s were provided the opportunity to meet friends and build a community of support through the Parkinson’s GO! Group class. “Being able to see people going through the same situation in a group exercise class and developing relationships with those people have improved both of our lives tremendously,” shared Kay.
The Bonnema’s shared that the Parkinson’s GO! Group is a “Godsend” for them. Involving the caregivers and encouraging all to participate with good explanations of how and why the exercises are beneficial to the patient meant a lot to them.
“The professional front desk staff is willing to help with insurance questions, and makes an effort to know people’s names on a first name basis. The personal touch really matters to us. Everyone in the clinic carries the attitude of, ‘we can be more concerned about your situation than you are at times.’ – Dale and Kay
Dale has been working with Generation Care Physical Therapist, Wesley Barger, DPT and Speech-Language Pathologist, Michelle Davis, MA, CCC-SLP at the Grand Haven location clinic. If you or a loved one is struggling with Parkinson’s Disease, please get in touch with us to learn more about treatment options and our Parkinson’s GO! Group classes. There is help available!