Kelsi Holthus, OT demonstrates one of the exercises used in the LSVT BIG program. Since the programs initiation in the fall of 2016, 7 have participated.

LSVT BIG Program Participants Celebrate Success!

“Think big. Take big steps. You can do it!” are words of encouragement often heard in the Community Hospital-Fairfax Rehabilitation Services Department for participants in the LSVT BIG program.

The LSVT BIG program was initiated at Community Hospital-Fairfax in the fall of 2016 when Kelsi Holthus, OT, became certified in the program. Since then, 7 patients have graduated and all have shown improvement from the first to the last day of the month long program.

LSVT BIG is an intense program developed specifically for individuals with Parkinson’s and the unique challenges Parkinson’s presents in terms of mobility. Kelsi applies her love for therapy and people to make the experience as fun and rewarding as possible for her patients.

Ronald “Steven” Boyd, a recent participant in the program describes it as hard but enjoyable work.

“I would definitely recommend this program. It’s no cakewalk and participants need to come prepared to work. However, I can do some activities like getting up and down from a chair and putting on my coat better than before.”

Kelsi explains how the program is works, “The LSVT BIG program teaches participants how to think in terms of extending their movements to make day to day tasks easier. Participants often leave the program with better balance and the ability to walk more quickly and take bigger steps.”

Keith Dougan is also a recent graduation of the program. He was referred to the program due to some falls that he had experienced. He now recommends the program for anyone that is having balance issues, “It may seem like a small thing, but before the program I was going down stairs one at a time with two feet on the stair and using a handrail. Now I can go up and down normally without even using a handrail. I just can’t believe the difference.”

If there was one thing that both Steven and Keith had in common, it was a reluctance to participate. Steven describes his current outlook, “I used to hate therapy but I have changed my mind. It is a very important part of any recovery and I am very grateful for what therapy has done for me through the years.”

Patients interested in the LSVT BIG program should visit with their primary care physician or reach out to the Community Hospital-Fairfax Rehabilitation Service Department at (660) 686-2334.