History

The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley owes its existence to the vision and concern of local advocate for the elderly, Jacqueline Efram.  After forming her own successful social work practice, House Calls for the Elderly, she noticed that a number of her clients with Parkinson’s Disease were unable to access needed services locally. 

In 1985, appalled over their plight and concerned over the welfare of these poorly served patients, she founded a support group to provide education, advocacy, and support for those affected with this devastating disease.   Immersing herself in the literature, researching treatments, lobbying local, state, and national legislators, she became a tireless and knowledgeable advocate.  Along the way she enlisted the help of other professionals in medicine, gerontology, and movement disorder, including Anne Olin, a movement specialist (www.anneolin.com), who regularly takes part in the monthly support group meetings and offers special classes for Parkinson’s patients. In the 25 years until her death in 2010, she became a major resource for persons concerned with and affected by Parkinson’s.

The group continues to meet regularly on the fourth Friday of each month, except for November and December when it meets the third Friday.  Meetings are held at the Unitarian Fellowship at 67 South Randolph, Poughkeepsie, NY from 10:00 a.m. until noon and are free and open to the public.

FOUNDER

Although best remembered for her work with the elderly, Jacquelyn Efram began her career with the Metropolitan Girl Scouts of Detroit.  After moving to Poughkeepsie and establishing her successful social work practice, House Calls for the Elderly, she also found time to become a founding member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers and was a longtime member of the National Association of Social Workers.  As her reputation as an advocate for geriatric care and end-of-life, humane care issues grew, she was called upon to assess and advise on a variety of care facilities and programs.  Meanwhile, she was also active in the League of Women Voters, Meals on Wheels, Hadassah, American Gerontological Association, and The Greater New York Network on Aging.

Mrs. Efram’s wide-ranging interest in and support of the arts, education, and the environment were reflected in all she did.  However, she will be best remembered for her dedication to the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley which she founded in 1985  (see above).  For 25 years she focused her considerable talents and expertise on facilitating this essential regional service which remains her living legacy.

The family has establish a separate website for sharing recollections and memories.

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