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Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson's Family Support

The Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program specializes in helping families live as fully as possible with the many challenges of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Since 2007, JF&CS has been providing arts-based therapeutic activities, education, resources, and a supportive community for people with Parkinson’s and their families. We are uniquely suited as a multi-service community organization to offer help at any stage of the disease; wherever you are on your journey, you belong here.


Therapeutic Programming

Skilled dance and choral instructors use creative and therapeutic approaches that address movement, balance, and voice. Everyone can participate at their own level.  People with Parkinson’s and their care partners value these activities for the physical benefits and the strategies for symptom management as well as the supportive community. David Leventhal, who works with Parkinson’s programs worldwide as the Director of Dance for PD at the Mark Morris Dance Group, referred to our program as “one of the most established in the nation.”

Preregistration is required, and there is a fee to participate in these programs. A care partner must accompany participants who require personal care assistance. Financial aid is available. New members are always welcome to join. To register, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or contact us.

Therapeutic Movement and Dance

*Due to the COVID-19 situation, Therapeutic Movement and Dance is meeting virtually via Zoom video conferencing. To sign up, please contact Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

Fall 2020 Dates:
Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon   
September 30
October 7, 14, 21, 28
November 4, 11, 18
December 2, 9, 16  


Therapeutic Movement and Dance targets the movement challenges of Parkinson's disease. 

About the Group:

  • Class focuses on flexibility, mobility, balance, and coordination.
  • Stimulating activity connects the mind and body.
  • People may participate while sitting or standing.
  • No difficult sequences to learn. Dance experience is not necessary.
  • Therapeutic movement session is followed by a break for refreshments, socializing, and supportive group conversation.

When: Most Wednesday mornings, 10:30 a.m. - noon  

Where: JF&CS Headquarters, 1430 Main Street, Waltham *Now meeting online, via Zoom 

Registration is required. For more information, please contact Anne Muskopf at
amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

The Tremble Clefs

*Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Tremble Clefs choral group is meeting virtually via Zoom video conferencing. To sign up, please contact Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

Fall 2020 Dates:
Mondays, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. 
October 5, 12, 19, 26
November 2, 9, 16, 30 
December 7, 14, 21 

The Tremble Clefs choral group is designed to help strengthen the voices of people with Parkinson's disease. 

About the Group: 

  • Engaging choral singing helps with PD-related voice and communication challenges.
  • Offered in consultation with speech and language therapists.
  • Chorus incorporates LSVT® inspired vocal exercise and attention to posture and breathing.
  • Dynamic conducting and live piano accompaniment enrich the choral experience.
  • New and experienced singers are welcome. No auditions.
  • Meetings include a break for refreshments and socializing.

When: Meets weekly (every other week during the summer) on Monday mornings  
10:30 - 11:45 a.m.  

Where: Newton, MA *Now meeting online, via Zoom 

Registration is required. For more information, please contact Anne Muskopf at
amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

Support Groups

We offer support groups to meet the needs of people with Parkinson’s as well as their care partners. Support groups provide Parkinson’s education, tools for PD self-management, and strategies for caregivers. Discussions are supportive and informative.

Care Partner Support Groups

*Due to the COVID-19 situation, our Care Partner Support Groups are meeting virtually via Zoom video conferencing. To sign up, please contact Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

Fall 2020 Dates

North Shore Group (Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.):  10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/24, 12/1, 12/15  

Waltham Group (Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon): 10/13, 10/27, 11/10, 11/24, 12/8, 12/22 

Waltham Group (Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon): 10/8, 10/22, 11/12, 12/10, 12/24 

Care Partner Support Groups help reduce stress for family members as they share strategies.

  • Groups are professionally facilitated.
  • Groups focus on understanding the effects of Parkinson's disease as well as sharing concerns, strategies, and ways to cope.
  • Meetings are held twice a month in Waltham: One group meets on the second Tuesday of the month and the other group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month, from 10:30 a.m. - noon. *Now meeting online, via Zoom 
  • On the North Shore in Peabody: Group meets twice per month on Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. *Now meeting online, via Zoom 
  • Preregistration is required. There is a fee to participate. Financial aid is available. New members are always welcome to join. To register, contact Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.

Quarterly Education, Networking, and Support Group

Quarterly Education, Networking, and Support Group offers expert speakers on the medical science of PD and resources for improving quality of life with PD.

  • Timely topics and lively community discussion
  • Groups are professionally facilitated.
  • Meets four times a year on the first Thursday morning of September, December, March, and June from 10:30 a.m. to noon at JF&CS Headquarters in Waltham.
  • This group does not require registration. There is no cost to attend. New members are always welcome to join. Contact us for details.

Adult Child Group

Adult Child Group focuses on PD education and strategies for supporting a parent or parents.

  • Group’s facilitator shares information on the physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of PD and the impact on families.
  • Participants learn strategies for offering help to parents and for planning for the future as the disease progresses.
  • Please inquire with interest or questions at 781-647-JFCS (5327) or contact us

Information, Referrals, and Consultation

When living with Parkinson’s, people should not have to reinvent the wheel. Information, reliable referrals, and consultations are available by phone or email. JF&CS provides resources and experts who understand PD to help with a wide variety of issues.

  • Navigating the healthcare system
  • Planning for the future with chronic disease
  • Maintaining independence in the community
  • Finding caregiver support
  • Facilitating home safety
  • Maintaining mobility and community engagement

For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.

“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.” - Dr. Oliver Sacks

Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson's Family Support on YouTube

Okonow Parkinson's Family Support

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781-647-JFCS (5327)
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Headquarters
1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451
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