PARKINSON’S ASSOCIATION OF SWFL WAS AWARDED A GRANT FROM THE MOORINGS PARK FOUNDATION BOARD TO PROVIDE SPEECH EXERCISE THERAPY FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE
The Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida (PASWFL) has been awarded a grant from the Moorings Park Foundation Board. The grant funds will support the expansion of the six weekly speech therapy exercise programs offered by the PASWFL that benefit persons with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and other neurological disorders. There are an estimated 7,000 people in Southwest Florida who are diagnosed with PD. Nearly 90% of the PD population experience speech and swallowing difficulties with the disease at levels that range from mild to severe. The grant from the Moorings Park Foundation will support increased speech exercise programs that address the feelings of frustration, depression, dependence, and social withdrawal that come with speech and swallowing impairment.
“We are grateful for the generous support of The Moorings Park Foundation Board,” said Mary C. Schoeffel, CFRE, Executive Director of the PASWFL. “The grant will have a direct impact through speech exercise support we are able to provide for the thousands of people in our community with PD who rely on the evidence-based support, services, and education we provide them to help them live well with PD.”
As a member of the Naples community, Moorings Park’s Foundation supports dozens of community health initiatives by distributing grants to local non-profit and public health agencies throughout Southwest Florida to age more successfully. This Moorings Park Foundation Board grant will be used to provide operational support for speech exercise groups that address the following PD speech and swallowing disorder symptoms:
- Soft voice, reduced volume, frequent requests to repeat–use vocal adduction exercises increase loudness
- Monotone voice, unwavering pitch all the time–use pitch variation exercises to practice differences in pitch
- A hoarse, strangled voice–train in a “good” quality voice and strengthening exercise
- A breathy voice, requiring effort to talk, running out of air when speaking–use respiratory development exercises to improve breath support
- Trouble clearly and easily pronouncing letters and words, slurring of speech–use mouth strength exercises and techniques to improve speech clarity
- Short rushes of speech, fast speaking rate, “stuttering” like behavior–use pacing and phrasing exercises to reduce rate
- Masked face–use training and exercises in facial expression, body language, and gestures which enhance and improve communication effectiveness but are generally lost in PD due to decreased muscle mobility
- Cognitive decline–use exercises that may include cognitive processes to stimulate and maintain cognitive skills. Mild cognitive disorder is found in 20-50% of PwP and longitudinal studies have found up to 80% of PwP present with some degree of dementia
- Knowledge deficit of the PD process–use educational information about the communication, cognitive, and swallowing disorders accompanying PD, the disease progression, available apps and technology to assist with some aspects, and therapy advances.
Based on current statistics from the U.S. Census and studies by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, Southwest Florida has one of the largest PD populations in the country, creating a growing demand for the organization’s services. The services and support the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida provides are complimentary to members with Parkinson’s Disease and their care partners. These programs are funded without government support but are made possible through donations from community members and fundraising special events. Due to COVID-19, the organization is unable to hold most of their larger fundraising events, making their outdoor walk more critical supporting their mission.
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease affects over one million Americans and is the second-most common degenerative neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. There is no cure for PD and someone is diagnosed with PD every nine seconds. Based on current statistics from the U.S. Census and studies by the National Parkinson’s Foundation, Southwest Florida has one of the largest PD populations in the country, creating a growing demand for the organization’s services.
About the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida
The mission of the Parkinson’s Association of Southwest Florida is to provide proven and effective programs and services that improve the quality of life and educate, enrich, and empower people affected by Parkinson’s Disease and related neurodegenerative diseases.
Our vision is to continue to create a Parkinson’s- friendly community where people affected by Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases are treated with dignity and understanding. We provide advocacy, awareness, and education to the healthcare and Parkinson’s communities and the community at large. People reach out to us for our expertise, programs, and experience.
Services and support are always free and extended to the care partners and families of community members with PD. The PASWFL is an independent non-profit that is not affiliated with a national organization. For more information, visit ParkinsonAssociationSWFL.org or call 239-417-3465.