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Specialized Programs for Parkinson Patients

If you are living with Parkinson Disease, Muscular Dystrophy or some other progressive neurological disorder, it can take more than medicine to stop it from taking over your life. It takes a strong dose of confidence and sustaining inner strength to face the disease head-on and take the initiative to continue living a rich, fulfilling life.

That’s where Sarasota Memorial’s Smart Moves and LSVT BIG programs for Parkinson patients can help. Both programs revolve around a simple but important concept: that attitude and exercise are essential to keep your body, mind and spirit up and moving.

Based on the principles behind a successful speech therapy for patients with Parkinson, LSVT BIG is now being used to minimize or slow progression of the disease’s disabling physical effects.

The original LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) Loud program was founded 15 years ago to help participants strengthen sound and articulation by speaking at an exaggerated volume. Like LSVT Loud, LSVT Big also has one primary focus: amplitude. It asks those following the program to move “big,” encouraging a vigorous range of movement and pushing participants to use all parts of the body, from the feet to the hands and fingers. In a Big session, the patient mimics or mirrors the therapist through a series of large stepping or rocking movements with their arms moving in various directions.

The therapy can be used in a walking, standing or sitting position, says Terri Mishos, an occupational therapist who works with patients in all stages of the disease at Sarasota Memorial’s Institute for Advanced Medicine. “After just a few weeks, we see tremendous results in their ability to walk better, get in and out of a chair better and perform the simple acts of daily living easier.“

To learn more about LSVT Big, call the Institute for Advanced Medicine at (941) 917-7000.


LSVT Loud is a program designed specifically for Parkinson’s patients to address deficits of speech caused by the disease. Through personal sessions with our certified Speech Language Pathologists, it helps to transform slow, soft or monotone speech through an intensive four week vocal exercise program. LSVT Loud is designed to slow the progression of speech issues and restore normal, functional communication.

We look forward to helping you better manage your Parkinson’s disease through our excellent rehabilitation programs offered at 3 convenient locations: Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at Heritage Harbour, Sarasota Memorial HealthCare Center at North Port Medical Plaza and Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine.

Call us today (941) 917-5111 to learn more or to schedule your first appointment.


Smart Moves
Smart Moves is a new and unique integrative approach to health with activities that range from aquatic therapy, acupuncture and therapeutic massage to ballroom dancing, gentle yoga, tai chi and art therapy. Each activity offers scaled down and customized movements that empower people to overcome their physical limitations and help them stay ahead of their disease.

Developed in collaboration with internal medicine specialist Bernard Feinberg, MD, a Parkinson patient himself, and neurologist Dean Sutherland, MD, a Parkinson Disease specialist, each class or program is overseen by Sarasota Memorial’s rehabilitation and HealthFit fitness professionals who work in concert with referring physicians and neurologists. A physician referral is not necessary to join the program. Activities are designed to provide a fun, safe environment for people to work on ambulation, range of motion and strengthening with an emphasis on posture, breathing, balance and rhythmic movement.

Each class offers the motivational support, personal attention and custom design to help you overcome problems with tremors, rigidity, balance, posture or other physical limitations.

Classes include:

  • * Warm Water Therapy Pool Exercise Class * (Mon 11 am, Wed 11 am, Fri 1 pm)
  • * Chair Yoga (Tue 1 pm)
  • * Gentle Yoga (Thu 10 am)
  • * Tai Chi (Mon 6:30 pm)
  • * Aqua Tai Chi (Wed 6 pm)
  • * Nutrition Education **
  • * Therapeutic Massage **
  • * Acupuncture ** (Tues – all day)
  • * Art Therapy (Mon 1:30-4:30 pm)
  • * Parkinson Wellness Club (3rd Wed of the month – 9:30-11 am)
  • * Ballroom Dancing *

Classes designated by an asterisk (*) require a minimum number of participants. Services designated by a double asterisk (**) are individual appointments that require advance scheduling. Please call ahead to register for these classes and services.

Sarasota Memorial HealthFit Fitness Center
Smart Moves is an integrative care program developed by Sarasota Memorial’s HealthFit Fitness Center, in conjunction with the Neuro Challenge Comprehensive Care Center, a nationally recognized program that provides access to a broad range of outpatient diagnostic, treatment and referral services and support for people affected by Parkinson Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other movement disorders. You do not need to be a member of HealthFit or have a physician referral to participate.

5880 Rand Blvd., Sarasota (half mile west of I-75 off Clark Road)
(941) 917- 7000

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