Art Therapy at Friends of Parkinson’s, Inc.

Friends of Parkinson’s, Inc. is implementing an Arts Therapy Program to bring fun to Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy. The program goes into effect in April and is partially funded by Lundbeck Pharma and the Parkinson Foundation.

Each of the segments we provide can be billed through insurances as therapy. We know there are some restrictions and limitations that may occur. We are seeking additional funding to secure more attendees and participation.

Music and Dance (Speech and Physical Therapy)

Singing – Las Vegas Tremblers

Voice

The Las Vegas Tremblers are a singing group of those with Parkinson’s disease, their care partners and friends. The mission is to learn expression through voice and music.  They are assigned to perform at various locations around the city for donations to support the needs.

Exercises

The LV Tremblers will have weekly training sessions where they are instructed on the proper use of voice and how to elevate the sound and quality.  Vocal exercising is critical to their ability to speak and sing.

Speech Therapist

The Speech Therapist is responsible for training the voices and getting the LV Tremblers ready for music rehearsals.  He/she will take them through the proper exercises that strengthen the vocals, improve lungs and breathing capacity.  The Speech Therapist is compensated for the training.  The training is year-round (48 weeks).

Performances

We have several locations where the LV Tremblers are invited to perform.  The Holidays are a great time to be visible and to highlight the importance of the therapy they receive.  We have two bookings for the Holidays and will secure more performances throughout the year.

Conductor/Manager

The speech therapist is responsible for the vocal training; however, there is a manager to oversee the songs and music chosen for the performances.

Dance Division (Physical Therapy)

Dancing

The physical aspect of dancing will most commonly fall under physical therapy; however, in this instance, it is under music.   Dancing challenges the participants’ balance and gait.  We are expecting that even those who may be in a wheelchair will find an increase in mobility and stability through dance.

Dancing with Parkinson’s

Dancing with Parkinson’s is a specific dance-exercise for Parkinson’s disease.  It is a main part of the overall program; however, it is limited in its ability to bring socialization to the participants. We are offering up to four classes per week throughout the year.  Classes will be offered year round.

Social Dancing

Taking dancing to another level, we are offering weekly social dance instruction.  The most popular dances to include, but not limited to:

  • Tango
  • Swing
  • Fox Trot
  • Cha-cha

We anticipate have a monthly social outing that will allow those taking the dance classes to use the new skills, both balance and movement.

Arts Division (Occupational Therapy)

Painting , Drawing, Coloring

A small Art Therapy program was sampled in 2018 to gauge the interest of the Parkinson’s disease community. We are quite please that many of the members have expressed interest in being a part of such a program.

We are currently hosting the program at Hobby Lobby bi-weekly. The growth of the program is impressive. We would like to be able to host two weekly sessions of Painting with Parkinson’s to allow those who are attending to see their work develop over a few days rather than a few weeks.

Crafting and Sewing

We have an agreement with two community partners to make and sell items to the community. We will be able become self funded through the sales of the “made by PD” items.

Moreover, crafting will help those with limited dexterity to improve the use of hands while learning skills to benefit the program.