Westport Weston Family YMCA Partners with Shakers Anonymous

[ Westport, CT – August 4, 2021 ] – The Westport Weston Family YMCA is thrilled to offer the Parkinson’s Body & Mind Program (PDB&M) this upcoming Fall session to all individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). In partnership with local Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, Shaker’s Anonymous, the goal of the program is to provide a comprehensive health, wellness and peer support program specifically designed to help improve the quality of life of PD patients. The PDB&M program helps patients to reduce symptoms through customized exercises with specially certified instructors in a variety of fun, interactive classes including Boxing, Yoga, and Tai Chi, as well as a support group for PD patients and their care partners.

“Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with PD and my mother also has PD so I am also her care partner. I realized that there was a lack of resources and support for people with PD, so I co-founded Shaker’s Anonymous, a support group for people with PD. It’s a wonderful group of people who are so encouraging, and it is mainly peer managed by PD patients.” said Lynn Hagerbrant, Co-Founder of Shaker’s Anonymous. “Through our sessions, we came to understand that we lacked a fitness component to truly help us manage our health and symptoms. I helped to start an exercise and wellness program for people with PD called Parkinson’s Body and Mind Program at the Greenwich YMCA in 2019. We are now thrilled to have the opportunity to start our Parkinson’s Body and Mind Program at the Westport Weston YMCA!”

The program provides novel non pharmacological treatments including mind-body therapies. (Exercise, Meditation, Biofeedback and Breathing techniques)

The Westport Weston Family YMCA and Shakers Anonymous will also be collaborating with the Engage PD program by Columbia University (funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation).

The Engage PD program will help to provide the implementation of one to one coaching, safety assessments, class placement, goal setting, physical activity monitoring and more to help promote and support safe exercise. The program involves participating in up to four coaching sessions along with follow up (3 months) assessments.

Parkinson's Body & Mind Program

Brenda Waldron (left) and Lynn Hagerbrant (right) in boxing gear for PDB&M program.

Through PDB&M, participants will be able to connect with other PD patients in a confidential, nurturing environment with opportunities for sharing, navigating life with PD, managing symptoms, and more. In addition to fitness classes, guest speakers and experts in the field of PD will provide presentations and discussion sessions with participants to further understand PD.

“We are honored to offer the Parkinson’s Mind and Body Program to our community,” said Denise Hotch, Fitness Coordinator of the Westport Weston Family YMCA. “The program will provide exercise, socialization and peer support which those afflicted need in order to maintain their balance, mobility and active daily lives; all of which can help improve many symptoms.”

The Westport Weston Family YMCA is proud to provide the PDB&M program free to YMCA members with PD, regardless of level of mobility. Community members may join the program for a fee or for drop-in classes based on availability.

For resources and more information about Shakers Anonymous, please visit: https://www.shakersanonymous.org/

For more information, call Denise Hotch at 203-226-8981 or visit https://westporty.org/programs-services/health-wellness/parkinsons/