Caring for people with Parkinson’s disease is enormously rewarding for me. At Struthers Parkinson’s Center, medication
is only a small part of the equation. We have a strong focus on rehabilitation therapies, nursing support, social services, education, research, respite care, support groups and
It’s amazing when you see lightbulbs go on in patients’ eyes – when they suddenly realize why they feel the way they do – what is happening to them, how Parkinson’s disease is affecting them, and what we can do together to make their lives better. Patients are empowered when they understand their symptoms, know where Parkinson’s stops and other health problems start, and how medications, sleep and exercise impact symptoms.
I have learned if we give them a pill or a procedure, patients will take it gladly, and maybe they will get better. But if we give them explanations that they can understand, a specific reason to exercise or change what they eat, a frank discussion about the future, the certainty that we will be there for them, they will experience epiphanies.
They will climb mountains, win 5K races, write books, save a child’s life, organize fundraising fun-runs and participate in research trials. It is a delicate bud, the trust and hope our patients place in us, and if we nourish it thoughtfully and carefully, it can blossom into a beautiful and colorful flower.
Martha Nance, MD bio
Struthers Parkinson’s Center