Senior Health

2/18/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Even more important during this time of COVID

Gina, a physical therapist for 20 years, has specialized in working with people with Parkinson’s for nearly 10 years.

“Each person, each family’s journey with Parkinson’s, is different. Parkinson’s disease doesn’t present with a standard checklist of symptoms. Each presentation is unique; therefore, their therapy plan must be unique to their specific Parkinson’s symptoms.”

Gina is certified in several Parkinson’s-specific treatment interventions, including LSVT BIG and Delay the Disease. “At my former job as an outpatient physical therapist, we achieved a lot of awesome outcomes with our Parkinson’s-specific program. Really, it was just amazing what a difference it made when we worked with both the body AND the brain. I loved my job as an outpatient PT. I had no intentions of making a change. My co-workers, my clinic, my family of Parkinson’s patients were a dream come true.”

However, there were several, what Gina describes as “God signs,” that made her take a leap of faith into the home health setting.

“I had several patients in a row who had medical setbacks that made it difficult or impossible for them to get to outpatient therapy. They needed home health therapy. Each had mentioned their therapy at home was not the same – it wasn’t specific to their Parkinson’s deficits. I wished there was more specific care available for those with Parkinson’s in the home.”

Fulfilling a Need

Gina goes on to say, “In the outpatient setting, it is easier to find a Parkinson’s-specialized therapist. You can ask to be scheduled with a therapist who works with people with Parkinson’s. In the home health setting, it is not easy. Most times, your referral just gets assigned to the therapist who covers that geographic area or that zip code.”

The final “God sign” came on a country road when Gina was driving home from work. “The sun was setting behind a church steeple, and I remember thinking how beautiful the scene was. My phone rang and it was an unknown caller. I almost NEVER take calls from unknown numbers. I usually just let them go to voicemail. I don’t know why I took the call, but it was a recruiter from Therapy Advantage calling about a home health PT job in my area. That’s when I just knew I could not ignore this feeling anymore. I knew what I was being called to do. I can’t explain it any other way.”

Gina Boerger, Parkinson's specialist
Meet Gina Boerger – mom of five, farmer’s wife, home health physical therapist, and Parkinson’s support group leader. It may seem like a lot of hats to wear, but if you ask her, she will say it’s what she is meant to do.

Two years after joining the Therapy Advantage team, 19 additional Parkinson’s-specialized therapists have been added to the team throughout the state of Ohio. With the current COVID environment, the need for specialized Parkinson’s home health therapy has increased due to most community exercise classes being shut down and many feeling nervous about going to outpatient clinics due to the virus.

Partners in Parkinson’s

In addition, the care through Therapy Advantage goes beyond therapy services in the home. “It is so important that people with Parkinson’s also have access to support and resources.” Gina and a co-worker, speech therapist Shannon Condon, host a virtual support group monthly featuring guest speakers and different topics related to Parkinson’s. They also author a monthly e-newsletter called “Partners in Parkinson’s,” which features tips, education, and information.

“Parkinson’s disease doesn’t go away after a patient’s therapy session has ended. Having access to expert support and resources is crucial to successful disease management. Shannon and I like to call our group more of an ‘education’ group than a support group. Yes, we do support each other, but our focus is education and empowerment. It’s important for families to know they have someone to reach out to even after therapy is done.”

Every once in a while, Gina’s home health travels take her past that same church steeple. Each time she is in that area, she is reminded about that moment. It brings a smile and a reassurance – this is what she is meant to do.

10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease

For more information about Therapy Advantage’s Parkinson’s Home Health Therapy program, call (614) 784-0400 or visit

To sign up for the monthly Parkinson’s e-newsletter and support group, email Gina & Shannon:

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff