Our weekly LOUD Crowd group of 14 people is as diverse a group of people you could have.

Although all have a medical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or a related diagnosis such as PSP, no two people look alike, sound alike, have the same motor or non-motor symptoms, or respond to medications the same way. No two people in our group have had the same life experiences, careers, family dynamics, wins or losses in life. And so, will be their experience with Parkinson’s.

Professionals working with individuals with a PD diagnosis must be mindful of the differences in their patients, who will all bring different symptoms, concerns, questions, and expectations to encounters. Professionals must also be mindful of their own differences and biases that may impact their treatment approaches.

Person-Centered Care

“Variability is the law of life, and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease.” – Sir William Osler


For several years now in health care, there has been a movement towards patient centered or person-centered care. Person-centered care embodies respect for client autonomy and choice, values the individual needs of each person, promotes a therapeutic alliance between health care provider and client to meet those needs, and encourages a holistic view of the client in terms of caring for physical and emotional needs.

In the case of individuals living with a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it means considering the impact of motor and non-motor symptoms, the fluctuating nature of the disease and the impact it may have on a spouse or other primary carepartner.

Person-centered care requires a realignment of the relationships between health care professionals and their clients through shared decision making in which health care providers work collaboratively with clients and families. So, for example speech and physical therapists need to assess whether the treatment plan being offered matches the patient’s expectations, goals, and capacity for improvement

Value in health care is the new buzz word from payers, but it goes beyond financial considerations. Value also means that the experience and outcomes of health care services bring about meaningful change in clients’ lives such that they see the worth in having pursued that care.[i]

[i] Achieving Participation-Focused Intervention Through Shared Decision Making: Proposal of an Age and Disorder-Generic Framework Carolyn Baylor and Meghan Darling-White. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_AJSLP-19-00043

One Piece of Advice

When I asked members of the Charlotte County LOUD Crowd for one piece of advice they would give someone newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, below are their responses:

“you have Parkinson’s, it doesn’t have you”

“exercise every day”

“join a support group”

“assemble a team of professionals”

“live each day”

“don’t sweat the small stuff”

“be positive and live through PD one day at a time

and, from one of our members who has lived with Parkinson’s for over 25 years:

“be cool”


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My MissionTo enlist individuals in their treatment, and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate  and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP * FiTOUR® Group Exercise Instructor * Voice Aerobics® A Whole Body Approach to Voice Practice

Voice Aerobics the heART and Science of Voice Practice