LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster County has some of the highest rates of Parkinson's Disease in the country.
That fact has led two local businesses to team up for a different kind of approach to patient care and they're calling it one-of-a-kind. CrushPD Fitness and Hartz Physical Therapy are joining forces to provide the best care and support to the Lancaster Parkinson's community.
"We're here to preserve and help people maintain independence and live really great lives and your long term journey with Parkinson's can look very different if you add excise and physical therapy to your mix," Sue Ludwig, owner of CrushPD Fitness said.
The degenerative neurological condition progresses over time, affecting a person's movement, she says.
"The sooner you start exercising with Parkinson's, the better off you're going to be, the bigger impact that exercise is going to make," Ludwig said.
Here's how the partnership works:
A patient starts at Hartz Physical Therapy, with a specially trained therapist, like Greta Myers.
"We're really lucky to be able to have more one-on-one, individualized care with our patients rather than having double bookings all the time," she said. "I'm able to have more time with my patients, which is really critical when working with Parkinson's patients."
Don Roberts is one of her patients. He was diagnosed with the disease 13 years ago and has spent the past three years at Hartz for physical therapy.
"He's doing much better than he used to do before he came here," Don's wife Marilyn said, adding that his walking has improved and he's even able to do more chores.
"He does take short walks and he has a few things at home that he does, like he makes the bed and unloads the dishwasher and he's able to do that," she went on.
Physical therapy will eventually end for patients like Don, and that's when they will then continue on to specialized exercise classes at CrushPD Fitness, a specialized Parkinson's gym.
"We are that long term place to come to keep your body moving well, to keep you active," Ludwig said. "Not only are we addressing Parkinson's specific movements and things that we know become impaired with Parkinson's Disease, but we're keeping the whole body healthy."
That includes the mind, which the partnership is also addressing with the start of The Red Rose Parkinson's Lecture Series and Support Group.
"It can be challenging and kind of scary for people with Parkinson's to know where to go and it's hard to find that information," Myers said.
The group will meet once a month, helping Parkinson's patients navigate the illnesses' twists and turns, one step at a time.
More information on The Red Rose Parkinson's Lecture Series and Support Group can be found below:
"Our lecture series and support group is open to anyone in Lancaster and the surrounding area. Sponsored by HARTZ Physical Therapy & CrushPD Fitness, we are specialists in and have a passion for the treatment and exercise programs that make a difference in the lives of people with Parkinson’s in our community.
This support group will offer fun, encouragement, lively discussions, learning, and a community for those living with Parkinson’s Disease, their caregivers, family, and friends. We hope you will join us!
In an effort to reach as many as possible, the monthly support group will host meetings in both the east and west sides of Lancaster County on alternating months. Monthly meetings will generally take place on the first Wednesday of the month, but please check the schedule."
Location #1 – East Lancaster: Maker’s Market at Rockvale Outlets, 35 South Willowdale Drive., Suite 1709, Lancaster
Location #2 – West Lancaster: HARTZ Physical Therapy, 90 Good Drive, Suite 201, Lancaster
For more information on Hartz Physical Therapy, check out their website here.
For more information on CrushPD Fitness, check out their website here.