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Considering Your Future? Think Geriatrics

As we make our way through school, we start to think about the opportunities beyond graduation and whether or not they are right for us.  You might hear your classmates discussing their options, which may include jumping into practice at an outpatient ortho clinic, traveling physical therapy, residencies, home health, and more.  Sometimes, it is difficult to determine what is right for yourself amidst all of these plans and, let’s face it, really awesome ideas.


Durham Stroke Camp

In December, thirteen 2nd-years assisted Dr. Jody Feld, Dr. Marcus Roll, and 14 local clinician volunteers, with running the “Durham Stroke Camp,” which provided an intensive week of rehabilitation services for 7 stroke survivors from our local community that have had limited access to rehabilitation services. (more…)

Winter Tips from the National Parkinson Foundation

Excellent information offered by the National Parkinson Foundation:

Winter often brings unexpected weather and for many, the shorter days can lead to vitamin D deficiency, increasing chances of developing seasonal depression. The good news is that NPF’s Ohio Chapter has gathered these tips to help people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their caregivers ensure that PD-related needs are accounted for this winter.

Falls Prevention

Parkinson’s can affect mobility, memory and thinking skills. People with PD may experience tripping or “freezing” episodes that can lead to falls. Add snow and ice to the equation and winter can be an especially dangerous time. To stay safe this winter:

  • Wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles.
  • Take off shoes as soon as you return home. Snow and ice attach to soles and as they melt lead to slippery conditions inside.
  • Shovel the path to your door, garage and mailbox to clear them of leaves, snow or ice. If possible, ask someone to shovel for you.
  • Be realistic and ask for help walking outside when you need it. Don’t let pride lead to a fall!
  • Use salt before or immediately after a storm to melt icy sidewalks and steps. If you don’t have salt, cover the ice with something gritty or non-slippery (like sand or cat litter).
  • Replace a worn cane tip to make walking easier.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go in winter weather. Taking your time reduces your risk of falling, especially if you use an assistive walking device.

Seasonal Depression

With depression as a common PD symptom, people with Parkinson’s should be conscious of their increased susceptibility to seasonal depression, which can be brought on by the cold and grey or the potential isolation of the winter months. Keep reading this and more at the National Parkinson Foundation website!

Neurological & Geriatric Journal Club

The DPT Neuro-Geri SIG held a journal club meeting on Thursday, 12/1/16. We were honored to be joined by our esteemed faculty members, Dr. Leonard White, and Dr. Jeff Hoder, who helped provide context to the case study we selected from PTJ entitled: “Long Term Exercise Training for an Individual with Mixed Corticobasal Degeneration and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Features: 10 Year Case Report Follow-Up”.

Read the case report here:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24114439


November Is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Just 11 years later, the former President of the United States was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s himself and lived with the disease for a decade before passing away in 2004. Mrs. Reagan, who rarely left his side for more than an hour or two at a time, called her last 10 years with her husband “the long goodbye.”


National Parkinson Foundation Moving Day NC Triangle


Volunteers Needed

Full Event Details:  (Click here)

We are in need of volunteers for Moving Day® NC Triangle on October 29, 2016. A number of opportunities are available and we could certainly use your help! We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with Food and Beverage, Kids Zone, Walk Route, Movement Pavilion etc. Times will vary depending on area assigned.  Last year, many local physical therapy students, including Duke DPT, came out to volunteer.  To register please visit: Click Here12764802_1057763170911527_4207138361061948900_o

The National Parkinson Foundation’s fourth annual Moving Day® NC Triangle fundraising walk, is scheduled to return to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, Nc, on Saturday, October 29, 2016.


Neuro/Geri SIG Observes Hippotherapy at NCTRC

2016-07-06 12.00.03Duke DPT Neurological and Geriatric Special Interest Group members had an amazing opportunity to observe hippotherapy and therapeutic riding under the direction of Margie Muenzer, PT at the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center.  The NCTRC exists to empower children and adults with physical, emotional, mental and social challenges to create active, healthier and more fulfilling lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT).

From the NC Therapeutic Riding Center Website:

Margie joined NCTRC in 1993 as a physical therapist and PATH-certified therapeutic riding instructor.  She holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from Case Western Reserve University, and received training in hippotherapy through the American Hippotherapy Association’s Level I and Level II courses.  She never tires of the joys of helping children and adults with physical challenges begin to overcome these and thrive through the partnership with a willing horse or pony and team of dedicated volunteers.

Hippotherapy, which means therapy with the help of a horse, is the primary treatment strategy used in our physical and occupational therapy treatment sessions. The movement of the horse’s back is used to address postural control, coordination, balance, sensory modulation and more, to reach functional goals for our clients. Activities in the arena, barn and play areas are often part of these sessions.

Therapeutic riding classes focus on a broad range and combination of disabilities. Clients of all ages learn riding skills, but also may work toward making gains in strength, balance, coordination, planning, cause and effect, memory, body awareness, attention span, motor coordination, spatial awareness, social interaction, self-confidence, etc. Horses provide sensory input and motivation that is unmatched in other activities and therapies.

More information about the NC Therapeutic Riding Center:  http://www.nctrcriders.org/


Special Olympics FUN Fitness

FF Summer 2016

Duke DPT Students volunteering at the Special Olympics FUN Fitness Screening.