Plymouth Place’s Boxing Balance and More Program Wins Statewide Award

LaGrange Park, IL — Plymouth Place™ Senior Living received the Honoring Excellence Award for Community Impact for its Boxing, Balance and More program from Leading Age Illinois, the industry’s trade association, at its annual conference on April 18 in Schaumburg.

The Boxing for Balance and More program was developed by the community’s personal trainer who saw a need for those residents who had early stages of Parkinson’s but need to work not only on muscle strength and cardiovascular health, but also on small motor skills such as eye exercises, swallowing exercises and hand exercises. The program, which combines the best of Rock Steady and Delay the Disease, involves regular exercises, such as stretching, bicycling, ballet barre, push-ups, balancing and lots of non-contact boxing, led by experienced trainers/coaches.  One of the classes is held in the Plymouth Place pool to help with balance.

In 2016, Plymouth Place Senior Living bought a variety of boxing bags and gloves to start a boxing program for its residents which quickly became popular, especially with residents with Parkinson’s Disease. In 2017, this retirement community expanded its boxing program to include, not only residents, but people in the greater community who also have Parkinson’s disease and can benefit from the Boxing for Balance and More program. It serves both men and women of all ages and levels of ability. Each participant must bring a volunteer to help them with the activities one-on-one.

“We already had a boxing program that was very attractive to our residents with Parkinson’s and the residents supported our trainer getting certified in Rock Steady Boxing as well as Delay the Disease,” said Jay Biere, Plymouth Place Chief Executive Officer. “The residents advocated for expanding the program to be open to other seniors with Parkinson’s in the greater community.”

To participate in the Boxing for Balance and More, participants must have a diagnosis of early stage Parkinson’s disease and have a partner come with them each time to serve as their helper during the training, so we have engaged 17 volunteers from the community,

Northwestern Medical Center for some of their Parkinson’s programs.

Currently, there are 10 participants from the greater community and seven from the retirement community for a total of 17.   This is the only program of its kind within 35 miles serving people in the local area, creating not only a great forum for exercise and balance, but also has created a great support group for those with Parkinson’s who have met and worked out together.   They have become very close and created a family-like atmosphere.

Probably the biggest impact has been on the community of people who have Parkinson’s who have found a home. “The very best part of attending are the people – strangers I now call friends,” wrote Kathie, one of the participants.

Another member from the nearby community shared, “I have experienced improvement in balance, flexibility and coordination. The workouts not only build physical strength buy also provide opportunity for people with Parkinson’s to improve the mind and uplift the spirit.  I enjoy every session.”

Plymouth Place has also engaged with several local partners.  Residents and participants in the program went to Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago for a special class on ballet and Parkinson’s and also had our local ballet company, Salt Creek Ballet, come to our location and do a workshop on ballet and Parkinson’s and have visited their studio for a class. The group has taken “field trips” to Northwestern Medical Center for some of their Parkinson’s programs.

For more information on Boxing, Balance and More, please contact Plymouth Place Senior Living at 708-354-0380



Plymouth Place Senior Living is a life care community in the western suburbs of Chicago that has been providing a full continuum of senior living and care options for seniors since 1944. The not-for-profit community offers independent living apartments, assisted living apartments, memory support suites and skilled nursing care. For more information, visit