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Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson's Family Support

The Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program helps families live as fully as possible while managing the many challenges of Parkinson’s disease (PD).


Our integrated program includes arts-based therapeutic activities, education, resources; and our supportive community includes individuals and families navigating all stages of the disease.

Music and Movement Therapy 

Our arts-based therapy provides physical benefits, offers strategies for symptom management, and nurtures a committed, supportive community. Skilled dance and choral instructors use creative and therapeutic approaches that address movement, balance, and voice — everyone can participate at their own level. 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.

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.

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 a.m. - noon 

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 a variety of support groups to meet the needs of families affected by Parkinson’s. Tailored to the needs and concerns of participants, groups cover topics such as Parkinson’s education, tools for PD self-management, and strategies for caregivers.

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.

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.
  • There are three Waltham groups that each meet twice per month. *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.

Upcoming 2021 Dates

North Shore Group (Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.): 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/16, 11/30, 12/14

Waltham Group (Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon): 9/14, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 11/23, 12/14, 12/28

Waltham Group (Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. - noon): 9/9, 9/23, 10/14, 10/28, 11/11, 12/9, 12/23

Waltham Group (Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.): 9/2, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2, 12/16

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 Support Group

Our Adult Child Group offers adults who are supporting a parent or parents with Parkinson's disease the opportunity to share resources and find mutual support and encouragement. 

  • The 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.
  • The group is currently meeting via Zoom on the third Tuesday of the month from 7:00 - 8:15 p.m. 
  • Preregistration is required and space is limited. For questions or more information, please contact Anne Muskopf at amuskopf@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5069.
“Thank you for all you do. I’m so grateful to meet other people who are going through this and who ‘get it.’”
- Adult Child Support Group Member

Information, Referrals, and Consultation

You don’t have to navigate Parkinson’s alone. As a multi-service organization with connections throughout the community, we can direct you to additional resources and experts on a wide range of topics, including:

  • 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

Contact Us

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