WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Parkinson’s disease is a condition that cannot be cured. It can take a heavy toll on a patient as the disease progresses

A local integrated health system helps Parkinson’s patients with an array of therapies.

Allied Services provides what are considered world class programs to help Parkinson’s patients. It’s about to offer something else soon for patients living with the central nervous system disorder, something that’s entirely free.

This exercise demonstration at allied services near Wilkes-Barre is testing the stability and balance of 66-year-old Parkinson’s Disease patient Diane Schuckers.

“I didn’t realize Parkinson’s had a lot to do with your balance but it does,” says Schuckers.

She was diagnosed in April with Parkinson’s, although her symptoms started a year earlier.

“My right arm wasn’t moving right,” says Schuckers.

When asked, “How prevalent would you say parkinson’s is in the allied patient community,” Kristina Dorkoski, senior staff physical therapit and neurologic specialist at Allied Services, responded, “We’re seeing several patients a day each at our neurologic center here.”

Allied services is preparing to see even more patients. It received a community grant from the Parkinson’s foundation to offer twice a week classes at no cost to the patient.

“The thing about these classes is that they’re tailored specifically to people with Parkinson’s disease and we can serve a variety of levels of people. So whether people are functioning really, really well and newly diagnosed or maybe they’ve had the disease for a time,” says Dorkoski.

Besides two power moves classes a week, allied services will also offer two Parkinson’s wellness recovery classes and two yoga classes weekly as well. Patients just need to be able to access the floor with use of a chair. Dorkoski hopes to see some new faces of Parkinson’s patients in need.

“Sometimes people are just scared. Maybe they don’t want to try outright therapy but they would like to try a class because it sounds a little bit less intimidating,” says Dorkoski.

When asked “So to have other patients who are going to go through these classes with you,” Schuckers responded, “It will be helpful. I’ll be with people who are going through the same thing I’m going through.”

The new Parkinson’s wellness program will take place at Allied Services Wilkes-Barre Rehab Center at 150 Mundy Street. The free classes will be held weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays. A monthly support group meeting will also be offered at no cost to Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers.

To learn more about being screened and signing up, head to the Allied Services website. To register for the program or to learn more, call Theresa Craig at 570-341-3051.