John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson

Radio hosts John Wenzlau and Millie Oakeson of “Successful Aging” on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX invite expert guests on their show each week to discuss how to live life to the fullest and age well. This week, they talked with Dr. Kathy Player, V.P. of clinical operations at Midwestern University, and Darolyn O’Donnell, certified therapeutic recreation specialist at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute.

One of Glendale’s greatest resources, Midwestern University (MWU), in addition to offering excellent academic programs, offers a wide-range of clinical services for the entire family through the College of Health Sciences. Graduate-level students work alongside physicians to offer excellent care through family medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, podiatry, speech-language pathology, clinical psychology, dental, vision, pharmacy services and even pet care. All of these services are offered at a lower rate than customary charges and they accept most medical, dental and pet insurances.

When asked about the pet care program, Player’s enthusiasm was infectious. Both Oakeson and Wenzlau are pet owners and they were excited to learn that Player takes both of her dogs to the Companion Animal Clinic at MWU because the primary care, specialty care and dental care are outstanding and the state-of-the-art building is beautiful.

Midwestern offers monthly lectures at the Foothills Library on a variety of health topics and everyone is welcome to attend. For lecture information, visit www.midwestern.edu. To schedule an appointment for any of their health services, call 623-537-6000, and for the pet clinic, call 623-806-7387.

When the subject of aging successfully is the theme of the radio broadcast, it’s hard to imagine how Parkinson’s disease fits into that scenario. O’Donnell explained, with an estimated 1.5 million people affected with the disease in the U.S., the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC) is recognized for offering the most comprehensive care in the world, ranging from expert neurological and neurosurgical care, to personalized outpatient rehabilitation services, including a variety of outreach education, support, and recreation programs in both English and Spanish.

While the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown and there is currently no cure, the research has shown that older adults who have strong social networks seem to have a higher quality of life, live longer and are healthier, compared to those with little social support. The MAPC is committed to keeping patients with Parkinson’s active, while offering support to families through caregiver support groups and boot-camps, and education through their Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshops.

O’Donnell said, “Caregiving is the toughest job you’ll ever love.”

Understanding that not everyone can come to the MAPC in downtown Phoenix, exercise and outreach programs are offered Valley-wide. The education programs are free and there is a minimal charge for trained exercise-professional instructors. They do offer scholarships. For information, or to volunteer, check out their website at www.barrowneuro.org, or call 602-406-6262.

For more information on these topics, or to ask a question, visit www.successfulaging.info. Tune in every Tuesday to Independent Talk KFNX 1100, as we continue to explore “Successful Aging.”