April 7, 2020 APDA Video Conferences, Tim, CHH exercise, Ending PD book

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Torrington Parkinsons Support Group


April is Parkinson's Awareness Month



Dear {subtag:name},

I hope this message finds you well, safe in your home, and taking precautions for your physical safety.  This is the first newsletter issued through our webpage, and I hope it transmits flawlessly so that each of us may stay connected.

Are you staying active during your confinement?  I've been making cards for soldiers, tidying up, cooking and baking, and eating everything in sight.  Each day I make time for a refreshing nap, read a little of a great novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, and look for a corner of the house that could use some serious attention.  I have discovered that there are many corners in my house, and that naughty pixies arrive nightly to undo my labors.  


One of the most difficult things during a crisis is to turn off the news.  Over-focusing on statistics and conditions, a person can become stressed, depressed and frustrated.  We know what's going on, and there's nothing we can do about it except follow the guidelines, so let's focus on something helpful.  What can you do to change your world or someone else's?  You can write a letter to someone who might be lonely during this period of isolation.  You can bake for someone and leave it on their doorstep.  You can catch up with a friend with whom you haven't spoken in a long time. Call a neighbor who lives alone.
Reconnecting with people has healing power, but it takes you making an effort to accomplish it.  So make a list of things you can do, people to call, books to read, projects to complete, and spend next week trying to accomplish your list. We're going to be inside for a while.

Let us know how you're doing.

Elbow bump,


Torrington Library has suggested:

APDA Video Series

The next in the Chase Family Movement Disorders Lecture Series is a video conference about the important topic of Telehealth.  Over 185 people participated in last week’s lecture, An Overview of Covid-19 for People with Parkinson’s.

Please consider taking part in the next informative conference by phone or computer.

Video Conference: What is Telehealth?

Thursday, April 9 at 1 p.m.

Since we need to be in our homes, doctors are moving to Telehealth or Telemedicine.

Both terms are interchangeable and mean video conferencing or virtual visits with your doctor.

Duarte Machado, M.D., Co-Director of the Chase Family Movement Disorders Center in Cheshire will explain how Telehealth is being used for patient visits and why you should use Telehealth.  There will be time for questions after the presentation.

Accessing the Video Conference:

1)    To access the video conference, type this into your browser:

2)    Click on the video camera symbol.

3)    You should see a box on the right that says Search to Call. Enter 6385. Click the green camera.

4)    At the next prompt click JOIN. (No need to enter a PIN).

In advance, it would be great to test your computer to see if you can access both video and audio.

By Phone Only:

To participate by phone only dial 860-972-6338.
When you are asked for an access code enter 6385 #.

**  Please put your phone on mute.

You may want to use the speaker option, also.

Kind regards,

Susan Lather,
Program Development Manager
Hartford HealthCare
Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Ayer Neuroscience Institute
35 Talcottville Road, Suite 6, Vernon, CT 06066
P: 860-696-5503. F: 860-870-0625. C: 860-734-6393
E: Susan.Lather@hhchealth.org

Hartford Health Care Message to Exercise Groups 

March 13, 2020

Dear Parkinson’s Exercise Class Participant;

In a collaborative and proactive effort with the Parkinson’ Support team, and to uphold the safety and health of each of our participants, we are temporarily suspending the Seated and Standing Parkinson’s classes effective Monday, March 16, 2020. Our priority is to ensure your well-being and partner with our community to minimize any potential risks. We will continue to follow the recommendations of state and local agencies, and the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital leadership in collaboration with the Parkinson’s support group to advise on when it will be advisable to resume these activities. Your referring provider will be notified and we will reach out with any updates.

Regarding any fees, they will remain as credits and applied as classes resume.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Susan Saya, Area Rehab Manager at susan.saya@hhchealth.org. or myself, and we will be happy to help!

To learn more about the novel coronavirus and tips for staying healthy, please connect to our community website at:  https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/coronavirus

We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Nancy E Perrotta

Nancy Perrotta, OTR/L
Regional Director of Rehabilitation Services
C: 860-840-1620


Susan Saya Message

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital has reached out to all participants of the "Keep It Movin'" exercise classes to check on their well-being and to ask if they would be interest in exercising with an online video of a class and/or receiving exercise handouts.  CHH intends to work on both and will continue to reach out as the quarantine continues to offer support as they are able.

Please let her know your needs. 

Susan's contact information is:
Susan Saya PT, MBA
Area Rehab Manager Northwest Region
Hartford Health Care Rehabilitation Services
538 Litchfield Street
Torrington, CT 06790
860-496-6875 (p)
860-538-1552 (c)


BOSE Research and Development

Last week, John and I spoke for about 45 minutes with two women working at Bose to create an audio product for people living with Parkinson’s. Each was in her home office, trying to research ideas to help people improve communications.

The product they are interested in creating is for those who struggle to speak loud enough and those who struggle with enunciation. They are interested in speaking to potential users, and would greatly appreciate our help finding people with whom they might speak.

Would you be interested in helping them learn more about people with PD and the issues they have with changes in speech?  Wouldn’t it be great to know that you lent a hand in developing a product to improve communications for people with Parkinson’s.

The person to contact is Gwyn Phelps, gwyn_phelps@bose.com.  Send her an email and let her know you’re interested.  Really, it was a simple interview.  Just be yourself. And let us know next time we get together if you participated in this study. 


Tim Calder

Tim sends his thanks to everyone for the great send-off on March 5, which now seems years ago.  He wants everyone to know that he's thinking of us and that he'd like to offer some online exercise classes on Facebook Live.  He's thinking of doing it on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-11 A.M. and will begin on Thursday, April 9th. 
In order to participate, people need to have a Facebook account and would have to send to Tim a "friend request".  Please do that soon.  (Your grandchildren can help you with this.). Once you are established friends, you will be able to watch him lead, and you can participate at home.  Please be mindful of your balance, gait, and any other issues that might restrict your movements.  Your safety is #1! 

Ending Parkinson's Disease, A Prescription for Action
by Dr. Ray Dorsey, Director of the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the University of Rochester

Several people pre-ordered this book at our last meeting.  Steve DeWitte had arranged book signings in Connecticut, but the ban against group gatherings took effect before we could meet the author.  Steve will hold our books until we can gather again without worry.  

Dr. Dorsey has recorded an interesting presentation related to the topic.  It can be viewed at 


Brandywine and Keystone Fundraisers

Our friends have not forgotten us. 

Amber Chapman has let me know that Brandywine is looking for a virtual alternative to their planned fundraiser.  We appreciate their kindness and hope people join in to support our cause.

Keystone's Allen Miloff regrets that they had to postpone "Putt-Putt for Parkinson's", but we'll get back to designing holes and planning the day once we can meet face-to-face again. If anyone is interested in contributing ideas, start sketching fun ideas for the links at Keystone.


Torrington Area Parkinson's Support Group Meetings

All meetings have been suspended pending relief from the impact of COVID-19.

Coffee and refreshments begin each meeting.  Speakers include health care professionals, disease experts, drug reps, local support services, and personal enrichment presenters. 

Each meeting has an educational component, social/business time, exercise for people with Parkinson's (PWP) with a trainer from the hospital's PT Department, and a care partner group meeting with a social worker. Our group draws from the northwest corner of Connecticut.  Meetings are open to those who have Parkinson's disease, their care partners, family and friends, and others who share our vision: Ease the Burden; Find a Cure. 
For more information about the group, contact Sue Pelchat at 860-489-1677, Ann Quattrocchi at 860-309-6336, or Carol Pathe at 860-482-4610.
For cancellations, please tune to WZBG 97.3.


“The greatest compassion is the prevention of human suffering through patience, alertness, courage and kindness.”
― Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion
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