SageLife in the News – Living Your Best Life After a Parkinson’s Diagnosis

By Heather Kato, SageLife Corporate Director of Marketing and Communications

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that progressively affects movement, leading to significant physical and neurological challenges. While symptoms and disease progression are unique to each person, knowing the typical stages of Parkinson’s can help patients and their loved ones manage expectations, cope with the changes, and plan for the future.

It’s also important to remember that some people experience the changes over 20 years or more while the disease progresses more quickly in others.

The progression of Parkinson’s disease is typically divided into five stages.

Stage One

In the initial stage, symptoms are mild and usually present on one side of the body only. These may include subtle tremors, changes in facial expression, and slight difficulties with movement. Daily activities are generally not affected at this stage, and the symptoms might be so mild that they go unnoticed.

Stage Two

As the disease progresses to the second stage, symptoms start affecting both sides of the body. Tremors, stiffness, and slowing of movement become more noticeable. Daily tasks become more challenging, and changes in posture, gait, and facial expressions are evident. However, patients at this stage can usually live independently.

Stage Three

This stage marks a significant turning point in the progression of Parkinson’s disease. While the symptoms are similar to stage two, they are more pronounced and impair balance and movement. Falls are more common. While patients are still independent, their movement significantly slows, affecting their daily activities.

Stage Four

At this advanced stage, symptoms are severe and limiting. Patients may still be able to walk, but they are greatly impaired and often require assistance. Living independently becomes challenging, and assistance with daily activities becomes necessary.

Stage Five

The final stage of Parkinson’s disease is characterized by an inability to stand or walk. Patients require full-time assistance with daily activities due to significant motor and non-motor symptoms. Cognitive impairments, such as dementia, may become pronounced, affecting mental health and quality of life.

Parkinson’s Disease Care at SageLife Communities

SageLife Communities offer a comprehensive and personalized approach to living with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Our holistic care model goes far beyond typical nursing home care or long-term care, offering residents a complete living experience that promotes independence, wellness, and an enhanced quality of life.

“Our goal is to be the best home for all seniors,” said Kelly Andress, Founder and President of SageLife, “and for those suffering from Parkinson’s, we’ve built a progressive program in a supportive and therapeutic environment that enables these residents to live their best lives.”

Your care begins with a custom-designed personal care plan created specifically for you. This plan is developed by a coordinated care team consisting of a physician or nurse practitioner, nutritionist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, and caregivers.

Once the plan is in place, our physical and occupational therapists and movement specialists will support you in improving mobility, function, posture, gait, balance, speech, and fine motor skills and maintaining them at the highest possible level. We also work to reduce rigidity and tremors.

Our skilled Parkinson’s care team meets you where you are in your journey and customizes every aspect of daily life to address your unique needs, while empowering you to maintain and improve your mobility with the support of our Move for Life physical and occupational therapists and movement specialists.

“When my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was especially challenging to find the best community for his needs,” said Liz Borst, whose father Frank Borst has been a resident at Daylesford Crossing since April 2022. “We explored several options, but there were limited choices available. Daylesford Crossing has been great at listening to what he needs. Almost immediately, we worked with one of their specialists to come up with a treatment plan. The support he has received has completely changed his outlook on life.”

Our Move for Life therapists are certified in in LSVT BIG®, which trains people to improve movements, whether they are “small motor” tasks or “large motor” skills like walking and balancing. Our therapists are also certified in LSVT LOUD® speech treatment, which trains people with Parkinson’s to use their voice at a more normal loudness level while speaking. This proven treatment helps people “recalibrate” their perceptions so they know how loud or soft they sound to others – and in turn, they may be able to communicate more effectively.

Supporting Mental Health, Too

It’s common to feel depressed at some point in your Parkinson’s journey. SageLife’s therapists can help address any mental health issues you may face in connection with your diagnosis. We’re here to support your mental and emotional needs as well as your changing physical abilities.

“The staff is excellent, with training designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s,” said Bill Pfeiffer, a SageLife resident at Plush Mills in Wallingford. “The physical, speech, and cognitive therapies I receive help both physically and mentally, helping me maintain a positive outlook on my life situation, and pushing me past my self-imposed limitations.”

Our support extends to your family and loved ones as well. We have programs that provide therapy for depression and other emotional challenges your friends and family may experience in regard to your diagnosis. We offer support groups for your spouse, siblings, children, grandchildren, and friends.

Mind, Body, Spirit Wellness

SageLife’s holistic approach to Parkinson’s care extends to a focus on physical fitness and strength, harnessing the power of targeted nutrition, and a full schedule of available fun and engaging activities to add flavor and purpose to each and every day through our unique MOSAIC wellness program.

Parkinson’s disease is a formidable challenge for everyone that it touches. SageLife’s supportive environment and comprehensive care give residents the resilience and tools to live each day meaningfully while fostering independence and dignity.

Learn more at the link below:


1489 Baltimore Pike
Suite 226
Springfield, PA 19064
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Assisted Living, Independent Living, Personal Care
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