Prevention & Support



The Ridgewood Y's Prevention + Support programs are designed to help people living with chronic illness improve their quality of life

With Prevention + Support at the Y, adults experience a strong sense of belonging and create a network of friends who provide support for sustained health and well-being. Through ongoing fun, safe, and engaging specialized programs, members build relationships and increase self-confidence while celebrating the successes of each member of their community.

Explore our current programs that support people living with:

Parkinson’s disease/movement disorders
Chronic arthritis
Cancer recovery


Parkinson's Support Group

Mondays | 11:30AM
New Program Room

Mediator: Simona

This support group is designed to help individuals cope with the day-to-day challenges of living with Parkinson’s. Participating in this support group can help alleviate the burden of frustrations that are often hard to express to loved ones or while living alone. This support group is an opportunity to exchange experiences, stories, and share resources and education with like-minded people and can be truly restorative.

The Art of BIG by Simona

Mondays | 12:45PM
Meads Hall

Instructor: Simona

The Art of BIG by Simona is a wellness program developed for Parkinson’s afflicted people to regain and sustain their motor function, balance, voice, strength, and cognition. By doing so, a sense of joy and community is reinstated while also delaying the progress of the disease. 

The Art of BIG by Simona draws inspiration from LSVT BIG, BIG FOR LIFE, Marc Morris Dance for Parkinson’s and is based on years of experience rehabilitating patients with diverse neurological and motor movement impairments.  

This is a one hour class consisting of

  • BIG warmup movements to the sound of slow music
  • High intensity interval training exercise to increase heart rate, perspiration, and dopamine levels, all while listening to upbeat music
  • Brain stimulation through trivia quizzes, BIG writing problem solving, and reciting poetry, while listening to stimulating music
  • Painting, drawing, coloring, cutting, and other crafts within a timed period to create a sense of competition while listening to fast beat classical music to increase brain frequencies
  • LOUD singing or reading aloud for voice strengthening
  • A final seasonal dance number that has elements of structure and free form expression

You Move BIG

Tuesdays | 11:45AM
Thursdays | 11:45AM
Meads Hall

Instructor: Simona

A fitness program designed to empower people living with Parkinson’s disease by optimizing their physical function and helping to delay the progression of symptoms. The goal is to motivate participants to develop a habit of consistent exercise routines best suited to their individual needs. Recommended for anyone with limited mobility. Includes weight training, balance and gait work, along with gentle cardiovascular exercises.

Pilates for Parkinson's

Wednesdays | 1:30PM
Meads Hall 

Instructor: Simona

This moderate impact exercise class is tailored to help people afflicted with Parkinson’s improve their postural deficiencies, core strength, joint mobility, balancing difficulties, and flexibility while also focusing on fall prevention. During this class participants will train transfers from standing to sitting to laying on the mat and vice-versa. Pilates for Parkinson’s will increase your ability to roll between face up and face down positions while practicing recoveries from any sort of fall, returning to standing, and regaining your balance and safety.

Box Out Parkinson's

Fridays | 12:30PM
Meads Hall

Instructor: Travis

Box Out Parkinson’s is a full-body workout exercise regimen where you perform non-combat boxing exercises. This class will include stretches and warmup exercises to prepare the body for the workout and to avoid injury. Participants will use heavy punching bags to build strength and muscle. Vocal exercises are incorporated into the workout to help with any voice disorder symptoms of Parkinson’s while footwork and other agility exercises will be used to help improve balance. Led by a certified instructor.


Walk with Ease

Tuesdays | 10:00AM
Thursdays | 10:00AM
*Class meets outside and is weather dependent

Instructors: Tammy and Colleen

Walk With Ease is a six-week, evidence-based walking program appropriate for adults with arthritis. Studies show that Walk With Ease is proven to reduce the pain and discomfort of arthritis while increasing balance, strength, and walking stride. It also builds the confidence needed to be physically active and improve one’s overall health.

The program is facilitated by certified instructors and is conducted in small, supportive group settings. The only pre-requisite for the program is the ability to be on your feet for at least ten minutes without feeling increased pain. Walk With Ease is a six week program that meets three times per week for 45-60 minutes. It does not require any equipment.

Walk With Ease can inspire you to start a personalized, safe, successful, and enjoyable walking program that can help you

  • Develop a walking routine that can meet your needs
  • Stay motivated
  • Manage your pain
  • Improve overall health
  • Learn to exercise safely
  • Reach your health goals

Enhance Fitness

Mondays | 12:45PM
Fridays | 9:30AM

Instructors: Colleen, Tammy


A moderate impact class with high impact results

EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based group exercise program for older adults that uses simple, easy-to-learn movements that motivate individuals—particularly those with arthritis—to stay active throughout their life.

Participants report noticing

  • More energy
  • Better balance
  • Increases in upper and lower body strength
  • More flexibility and range of motion
  • Better sleep
  • More feelings of happiness
  • Sense of independence

In addition to the physical benefits, research has shown that among older adults who participate in EnhanceFitness, health costs were lowered each year by close to $1,000.

Each class session includes cardiovascular, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises, and the fostering of strong social relationships between participants. EnhanceFitness is geared toward older adults. Those with a chronic condition, such as arthritis, need not worry; they will never have to do anything that hurts. Participants can use chairs for support, if necessary, and increase the weight they use for strength training at their own pace.



Wednesdays | 12:45PM

Instructors: TBD

We know how important physical activity can be while recovering from cancer. According to research from the Yale Cancer Center and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Institute, participants in our LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program experience improved fitness and quality of life, as well as significant decreases in cancer-related fatigue.

This 12-week program includes:

  • One 75 to 90-minute exercise sessions per week
  • Cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, balance, and flexibility exercises
  • Fitness and quality of life assessments before and after participation
  • YMCA-certified instructors helping you every step of the way

Participation requires referral and medical clearance from a physician. Open to adults 18 years or older at low or no cost.

Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring


For questions and more information, contact Lorna Deveaux [email protected]