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Voice Therapy for those with Parkinson’s Disease – Topic of Masonicare’s Lunch & Learn March 12

February 25, 2014

Nearly 90% of people with Parkinson’s disease will develop difficulty communicating and struggle with a soft or hoarse voice, slurring, shaky-sounding or monotonous voice.  Since Parkinson’s disease is progressive, the communication impairment can get noticeably worse.  Sadly, it is not uncommon for someone with severe Parkinson’s to be unable to verbally communicate with family and friends.  Even a moderate impairment can lead to social isolation.  Early intervention is recommended to obtain a healthy sounding voice and to maintain it for as long as possible.   Many with Parkinson’s can benefit from a specialized voice therapy — but few are aware that it is available. 

            Lisa A. Murray, M.A., CC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist at Masonicare Health Center in Wallingford, will present a Lunch & Learn program entitled “Voice Therapy” on Wednesday, March 12, at the Wallingford Senior Center, 238 Washington Street.

Please join Ms. Murray as she discusses “LSVT LOUD,” an effective therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease.  Formerly known as the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, this therapy was designed specifically for people with Parkinson’s disease because traditional speech therapy does not work well for this population.  LSVT LOUD has 20 years of research demonstrating its effectiveness when the program is carefully followed.  And recently, this therapy is being extended to people with other conditions such as stroke, vocal fold paralysis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and the hoarse, soft or strained voice associated with aging. 

 LSVT LOUD is a high-effort voice exercise program that focuses on achieving a healthy loudness while improving posture, breath support, clarity of speech, facial expressions, and a more animated voice.  LSVT LOUD is highly successful with 90% of people improving their vocal loudness after completing this program.  Approximately 80% of participants maintain this improvement for 24 months, which is the longest time-frame that people have been re-assessed by researchers.  

If you or a loved one is struggling to communicate or becoming socially isolated as a result, please join us to learn more about this proven voice therapy.

Ms. Murray is certified in LSVT LOUD and Masonicare’s OutpatientRehabilitationCenter is one of the few centers offering this therapy in Connecticut.

            The free program will begin at 11:30 a.m. and includes a complementary lunch.  Reservations are required, however, so please call the WallingfordSeniorCenter at 203-265-7753 by March 5.

            Masonicare of Wallingford provides Lunch and Learn programs for adults and caregivers as a public service to the community.