Power for Parkinson’s co-founders and directors Susan Stahl and Nina Mosier started the organization four years ago hoping to provide free exercise and dance classes to people with Parkinson’s disease.
Both Mosier’s and Stahl’s passion for helping those with Parkinson’s stems from their personal experience as caretakers for their fathers. Stahl’s father died in 2012 from Parkinson’s, motivating her to create the program. Mosier’s father is still living with the disease.
“At that time we were recognizing how important it was that people with Parkinson’s exercise and how few programs there are throughout the country that actually offered that service,” Mosier said.
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that can affect gait functions, cognitive processes and vocal functions. Mosier said exercise has proven to increase motor skills, balance, voice and cognition.
“We have seen people make incredible strides through exercise,” Mosier said. “We had one guy come in a wheelchair and can now stand and do the class. We had another tell us that he was able to put his jacket on after he wasn’t able to for a long time.”
Over 250 people participate in the program every week, Mosier said. Anyone who has the disease, including their caregivers, is invited.
In Southwest Austin, a “Move and Shout” class is offered every Monday at Spero Rehab Austin in Circle C from 1:30-2:30 p.m. “Move and Shout” is a one-hour class involving seated, standing and vocal exercises.
Throughout Austin and Round Rock, classes are offered at eight different locations. In addition to offering classes locally, the organization also created a YouTube channel with full-length exercise classes.
Mosier and Stahl said they wish to expand the program to other areas.
“Our goal is to develop a train the trainers workshop,” Mosier said. “People can come here, get certified in our program and take it back to their communities.”
Mosier added the program is need of more volunteers. Volunteers do not have to be certified and are trained on-site.
Power for Parkinson’s