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LSVT Parkinsons Therapy

Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association Therapists Recognized with Certification in LSVT BIG in the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

LSVT Parkinsons Therapy

Physical Therapist, Shelley Fecteau and Occupational Therapist, Jennifer Ley, both with Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association, have recently completed the designation of LSVT Big Certification. LSVT Big is an intensive, focused physical and occupational therapy approach to increase movement in Parkinson’s patients. Developed from principles of effective treatment documented to improve motor functioning in people with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, the VNA therapists are now certified to organize and develop specialized programs within the setting of home therapy. Treatment in learning and practicing larger range, known as amplitude, of motions results in an individual to be able to walk faster with bigger steps, improved balance, increased trunk rotation, and increased fluidity of motion with a direct result in improvements within daily living activities and improved motor skills.

Shelley Fecteau, a Physical Therapist for over 23 years with 13 years at the VNA, is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Physical Therapy. “I am so excited to offer LSVT to the Parkinson’s patients of the Farmington Valley in the comfort of their own homes,” exclaimed Fecteau. "Treating Parkinson’s patients has always been a passion of mine. I have already seen results with my patients utilizing the Big approach. This is a true milestone in home care to bring the cutting-edge therapy of LSVT to the Parkinson’s patient."

Jennifer Ley. OTR/L, is a graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University (2000) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. Jennifer has worked as an occupational therapist for 18 years in CT and NY with a specialty in orthopedics and neurological diagnoses. She states that she is thrilled to be seeing immediate improvement with daily functional activities in her patients, since implementing the specific protocol for LSVT BIG. When motions are small and tight, which is often the case in Parkinson’s, the tone and rigidity limit the amplitude of motions and over time patients become more dependent in personal care. LSVT BIG allows a patient to learn what is a quality movement, increasing range and amplitude to be more independent in eating, dressing, and self-care. "Being able to implement the training and specific skills of LSVT BIG in the natural environment of my patient, allows me to individualize each treatment specific to their own personal goals in their own environment. The carryover is more functional and lasts longer. They have homework to do daily, and practicing the theory behind LSVT Big allows them to be able to do many of their daily activities more effectively," states Ley.

Customized to the unique goals of each patient, LSVT Big can be adapted to meet each patient’s needs across a range of disease severity and impairments. The treatment consists of 16 sessions done 4 days a week for 4 weeks with daily homework and carryover exercises. The patient’s personal physician prescribes the physical and occupational therapies, and only certified and trained LSVT therapist can proceed with this very successful program. The program has been developed and scientifically researched by the National Institutes of Health and is becoming the standard best treatment protocol. LSVT Big teaches how to avoid inactivity and keep movements big and alive during everyday activities. Quality of life improvement as well as confidence and optimism for the future result from this therapy. This empowers individuals to keep moving and stay active, as exercise is a key to the treatment of Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders.

LSVT, or the Lee Silverman Voice Therapy, is now recognized worldwide and specifically trains therapists in the program. Based on the voice therapy of Big and Loud taught by certified speech therapists, the Big motion therapy is equally as effective. Medicare and other insurances cover in home physical and occupational therapies when prescribed by a physician for patients who are homebound.

For more information or to seek services on the LSVT program or other home care services, call 860-651-3539 or go to

Read our feature on Simsbury Patch.

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