Living Lively with Parkinson’s Disease

In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness month, Wingate is highlighting a resident who works hard every day to beat the odds. Nancy Stark D.C., a resident at Wingate Residences on the East Side of Providence, reflects on her experience living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Nancy is highly educated. She completed her undergraduate degree at Boston College, and then went on to become a Doctor of Chiropractic in California.

Nancy was diagnosed with PD about twenty-six years ago, at just thirty-eight years young. She has never let her diagnosis slow her down. After receiving her diagnosis, Nancy maintained a fulltime job in sales, selling life insurance policies, then went on to work for Tufts in Boston as an underwriter. “I made lemonade out of lemons because I never let my disease define who I am.”

Nancy’s love of swimming

Nancy decided to move into an assisted living community when her disease progressed, and hasn’t stopped moving since! She chose Wingate’s East Side location primarily for our heated swimming pool and full-service fitness center. Nancy enjoys dance classes with Judy, our fitness director. The two have even performed dance numbers for our residents during holiday celebrations. Dance is used at the East Side with our residents with Parkinson’s disease because it incorporates muscle strengthening and increases flexibility through the body. Stretching and strengthening these muscles helps those residents maintain balance.

Nancy Stark
Nancy credits the key to her success with PD is her positive attitude and persistence to keep moving. She participates in various activities that keep her both physically and mentally fit, including billiards, Jeopardy, and kickboxing. “When you trick your mind, you can do things,” she insists. Prior to her diagnosis, Nancy always had a love for cycling. Luckily, with motorized bicycles and the East Bay Bike Path in our backyard, Nancy is still able to go out and do the things she loves.