The JF&CS Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program specializes in helping families live as fully as possible with the many challenges of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
The Parkinson’s Dance volunteer’s job is to enhance the experience of the participants-including people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their care partners-in concrete and subtle ways. The bottom line is that we hope for everyone to have fun while dancing. No previous dance experience is required.
We typically host 30-40 people weekly. They come in pairs or individually. Many are experiencing social isolation because of their disease and some have difficulty initiating conversation and socializing. Ensuring that everyone feels a part of the group is a critical component of our programming from the point at which the person enters the room until they leave.
The role of the volunteer is to ensure that all participants feel welcomed appreciated and validated for having made the effort to attend. The volunteer is provided with information about Parkinson’s disease and how it impacts mobility, mood, communication, etc.
The volunteer will:
- Assist the dance instructor, when appropriate, by performing a seated, or half tempo version of the routine being demonstrated by the instructor to ensure that all participants feel success.
- Greet participants and assist with coats, mobility devices, etc.
- Ensure that all participants have a place to sit and safely make their way to their seat.
- Make sure that participants have the drinks and snacks they need, particularly taking note of their need for water since they may take pills at any time during the class.
- Notice safety and emotional needs within the room as required.
The volunteer, if interested, is invited to work with the dance instructor and the occupational therapist present to choreograph dance routines targeting specific movements and challenges faced by people with PD. Simultaneously, it is important the care partners have a stimulating experience and feel the joy of dancing.
- Available on Mondays, 10.30 a.m. - noon
- Commit to volunteering on a weekly basis for a minimum of six months
- Provide a minimum of two references
- Undergo a CORI check
How to Apply
If you are interested in volunteering for the Parkinson’s Choral Group, let us know on VolunteerMatch or apply directly at http://www.jfcsboston.org/. Go to the Volunteer tab and fill out a General Application Form.
- People Skills
- Mental Health
- Dance / Aerobics
- Relationship Building
- Spiritual Healing
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check