OhioHealth Delay the Disease at the JCC

OhioHealth Delay the Disease at the JCC

The JCC serves as a community center from the very youngest who have yet to learn to walk to those who have walked through many stages of life. It is proud to offer many classes that serve active senior adults, especially one that provides exercises particularly for those with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and related movement disorders.

For over a year, every Wednesday, a core group of participants gather with Beth McCullough, Asst. Fitness Director, to work on flexibility, coordination, and strength through the OhioHealth Delay the Disease (DTD) program developed by Columbus-based David Zid, Parkinson’s fitness specialist and OhioHealth Director of Movement Disorder and Musculoskeletal Wellness.

Now a top treatment program that has spread throughout the country, OhioHealth Delay the Disease delivers symptom-specific exercises that optimize function and restore independence. Participants experience improvement in mobility, posture, balance, handwriting, speech volume, and a reduction in daily functional challenges. The classes are a source of fun, social camaraderie, and hope.

Janice Epstein, wife of Rabbi Joel Epstein who has a movement disorder, was a very strong proponent of the program before it was brought to the JCC. “It was by chance that I read about this program in a local neighborhood newspaper. I read David (Zid)’s book and we were very lucky to start personal training with him, but we wanted to join a group class.”

OhioHealth has other Delay the Disease group classes set up around Ohio, but nothing on the east side of Columbus. The Epsteins traveled to group classes in Grandview Heights three times a week, but the travel was wearing.

Janice’s father was a member of the JCC and she would accompany him to the gym where she saw Beth working with clients. The two connected and Janice told Beth about the Delay the Disease program and saw the opportunity to provide group classes for her husband and others at the JCC.

“After going to these group classes, I see the way people walk and move, and I hear them talking about cutting back on their medication,” Janice said, “There is science now to prove that these exercise are beneficial and I thought the JCC was a great place to provide these classes to the East side of Columbus.”

Beth received certification from OhioHealth to teach the class and leads it so that the participants decide what they want to work on.

“I’ll ask them how they’re feeling that day, what is bothering them and what they need help with and we go from there,” Beth said, “They’re scared to do things and this class introduces exercises in a way that’s comfortable but helps them realize they’re capable of doing more than they think they can.”

The class not only works on physical challenges, but to serve as a community and offer ideas and strategies on how to manage both mental and physical symptoms of the disease. ““I like that there is a social aspect to it that’s positive,” Janice said, “There is a camaraderie.”

Beth agrees that it is also a support system. “They see the physical benefits for themselves while seeing others dealing with the same challenges. Everyone feels uplifted.”

“It’s an amazing resource we have in Columbus,” Janice said, “The top program in the whole country and it is based in Columbus!”

To join the Delay the Disease class, contact Beth McCullough at bmccullough@columbusjcc.org or 614-559-6207 or simply drop in on a class (cost: $5/class) on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m.