(WTWO/WAWV) Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder.

People may notice tremors in patients, but there are many other troubling symptoms.

Horizon Health in Paris, Illinois offers the big and loud programs.

10 years ago, Terry Sturgell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. 
Terry Sturgell, “My wife was the one who convinced me to go to the doctor.”

Terry eventually developed some typical Parkinson’s symptoms like short movements and shuffling of his feet. He also had problems with his voice and being understood.

Terry Sturgell, “By this time in the day everyday, I couldn’t talk or walk 100 feet.”

Terry eventually took part in two Horizon Health programs aimed at helping those with Parkinson’s improve their quality of life.
Sheryle Hendry physical therapist assistant, “People with Parkinson’s do not realize they are taking smaller steps, not having any arm movements.”
The BIG program is a one on one physical therapy. It focuses on improving body movements. Patients learn 7 very specific exercises they do at Horizon Health’s rehab area and at home.

Sheryle Hendry, “The longer we can keep the. moving normally, the longer they can hold off the effects of Parkinson’s”    
Terry also takes part in the LOUD program. It focuses on a person’s speech.
Brenda Stevens, speech therapist, “There’s over 25 year of research studies longevity studies that prove the results work even after the patient is done with therapy.
Speech exercises strengthen the voice box help with annunciation and re-trains patients to speak at a normal level.
Brenda Stevens, “It just gets them back to feeling like part of things again.”
Each program requires 16 one hour sessions. Sessions Terry says made a difference and provided exercises he’ll continue to do for the rest of his life.

Terry Sturgell, “That’s my goal, because it’s done me this much good now, hopefully if I keep it up I’ll get that much better.”
Horizon Health also offers a Parkinson’s support group. It meets from 2:00 until 3:00 central time on the first and third Wednesday of each month at Senior Care. For more information you can call 217-466-4170.