Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), which typically affects older adults, continues to be relatively unknown among the general public and even in the medical community. That’s why HA, along with its volunteers, are working hard to educate the public and doctors about this condition. In April, Trish Bogucki, a longtime peer support volunteer for HA and NPH Community Network leader, conducted a presentation about NPH and cognitive therapy at a senior center in Midland Park, NJ.
Her presentation at the Northwest Bergen Senior Activity Center provided an in-depth overview on NPH, its symptoms and causes, treatments, resources provided by HA, and helpful therapies. Cognitive therapist, Olivia Bell of Valley Rehab, also presented along with Trish. Olivia discussed how cognitive therapy can be helpful for NPH patients and explained how it works.
The session is one of three NPH outreach sessions Trish has led since she began volunteering for HA. The most common response from attendees of these presentations is “I’ve never heard of NPH.” Trish said many participants were surprised to learn that she used to have such debilitating symptoms.
“Several of the audience members knew me from the center classes and couldn’t believe that I couldn’t walk a few years ago, since I am an avid line dancer now. There were many questions during our presentations. One person thought she may have NPH, so we got into a detailed description of symptoms and I encouraged her to bring this up to her neurologist,” Trish explained.
Trish began volunteering for HA after being diagnosed with NPH in 2015.
“Initially I was terrified at the prospect of brain surgery but now feel very fortunate to be almost 100 percent back to normal and enjoying an active life. I want to help others get timely treatment by spreading the word about NPH; I also try to allay some of the fear by showing positive outcomes from both shunt surgery and the therapies that followed,” Trish said.
Trish is one of our NPH Outreach Volunteers. If you’re interested in learning how to help us raise awareness by becoming an NPH Outreach Volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.