Avenir teaming with P.J. Parkinson’s Group to add resources for new group

Adding resources to strengthen Parkinson’s disease support efforts locally, Avenir Memory Care is teaming up with P.J. Parkinson’s Support Group to offer a new group for those suffering from the disease, along with their caregivers.

The group’s first meeting was in November and its next will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, at Avenir, 901 Concord Road. A light lunch will be included.

The new group is under the direction of Isabell Senft-Daniel, founder of P.J. Parkinson’s Support, and Mary Lynne Payne, Avenir director of Sales and Marketing.

“We are really excited about this because it is the first one in West Knox (County),” said Senft-Daniel, who also oversees two other support groups. “Our mission is to provide caregivers with coping mechanisms and their loved ones with meaningful physical activity, and both a safe place to connect with others who truly understand.”

“We have many of our residents who struggle with Parkinson’s,” Payne said. “And we have seen Isabell build this effort, so we saw it as a wonderful opportunity for us to jump in and help, too.

“While our staff is highly trained to help our residents, we want to offer the opportunity for others in the community to learn how best to deal with Parkinson’s, whether they are the patient or the caregiver,” she added.

“It is so important for those who have been diagnosed to seek help,” Senft-Daniel said. “The disease itself is so different, depending on the person, and it requires a lot of different types of care. I have seen people as young as 32 be diagnosed, and it can be very hard to diagnose.

“While there is yet no cure, people can live 20 to 30 years with it.”

At Avenir, Senft-Daniel demonstrated some motion therapy techniques as being among the various types of information shared at support group meetings. Additionally, she will bring in experts familiar with a variety of related topics to help deal with the disease and its impact.

For more information, call Avenir at 865-777-1500 or contact the Farragut P.J. Parkinson’s Support office at 865-621-7666.

She also noted a new respite care program, offered through P.J. Parkinson’s Support, which provides the Parkinson’s care partner the opportunity to take a couple of hours ‘off’ or even a couple of days.

“We will place their loved one in assistant living or they can hire a home care company,” Sent-Daniel said. “That’s our new program, and it is free for families dealing with Parkinson’s.”