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Lonnie & Muhammad Ali Legacy Care Program

Lonnie Ali’s vision for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center is to offer all patients the same level of personalized care that Muhammad Ali received himself. Through a generous gift from the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, we created the Lonnie and Muhammad Ali Legacy Care Program to provide compassionate, innovative, and comprehensive care to patients and their caregivers living with advancing Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders.

The supportive Legacy Care team is committed to make life easier for patients and caregivers as the disease progresses and care needs increase.

What is palliative care for Parkinson’s disease?

Palliative care is an approach to caring for patients with a medical illness along with their caregivers that is focused on providing relief from symptoms in order to enhance quality of life for both the patient and the family. By using a pro-active approach to address your needs and discussing goals of care early on, we can match your treatment choices to your goals to give you more control over your care. 

Palliation comes from the Latin word palliare, which means to cloak. In this case, the cloak is meant to provide extra layers of support. Our team members are dedicated to providing those layers of support to you along your journey with Parkinson’s disease, as we know that this disease does not only affect physical health, but also psychosocial and spiritual. 

The Legacy Care Program will achieve this mission by:

  • The Legacy Care Program is focused on providing relief for the “whole person.” Patients and their caregivers have access to experts in movement disorders, neuro-rehabilitation, and support resources. This means not only treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but also addressing the emotional, psychosocial, practical, cultural, and spiritual aspects of both the patient’s and caregiver’s lives.
  • We focus on advanced care planning, in which we encourage the patient and caregiver to make decisions about care that may be needed in later stages of the disease. We have found that having these conversations ahead of time leads to better outcomes for both the patient and the caregiver.
  • Offering home visits to provide medical direction, education, care coordination, and palliative care for eligible patients with mobility and travel challenges, along with training and social work support for their caregivers.
  • Allowing patients to communicate with their physicians remotely via telecommunications technology (telemedicine).
  • Offering patients, caregivers, and the greater Parkinson’s community access to free, online, on demand video tools to help improve quality of life, such as videos of lectures, trainings, support groups, and exercise classes.
  • Gathering research metrics to provide the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center with the data needed to fully understand the impact of advanced care and caregiver strain.

We strive to ensure our patients maintain their dignity, independence, and quality of life throughout their care. Whether you are a patient or caregiver, we are committed to helping you navigate your way through this very personalized journey, reminding you that you are never alone.

Learn More about Palliative Care for Parkinson’s Disease

The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center is a site for the implementation of team-based outpatient palliative care sponsored through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. This is a nationwide effort to make team-based supportive care a standard of care for those with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. 

Learn more about the benefits of Palliative Care and Parkinson’s disease through a Q&A with our Legacy Care social worker, Joanne Ruelas, LMSW.