Our programme enables people to manage the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease by adopting practical techniques designed to aid daily living and improve confidence and self-esteem. Our flexible approach allows people to adapt these techniques to suit their everyday activities and personal circumstances. Our programme offers benefits to anyone aged 18 plus regardless of how long ago they received a diagnosis.
Our specially trained Conductors help people to identify the most relevant programme for them based upon their personal goals and aspirations, focussing on potential benefits and desired outcomes.
We aim to personalise our programmes as much as possible, concentrating on enabling people to learn ways of managing common symptoms such as:
- Slowness of movement (Bradykinesia)
- Lack of facial expression
- Micrographia and speech dificulties (Including lack of intonation, poor articultaion and loss of rhythm)
We also enable people to learn ways of managing the side effects of drugs, e.g. dyskinesia
Our programme focuses on all aspects of learning including cognitive, emotional, social and motor skills; all basic movements required for daily living are included in the programme. Under the guidance of Conductors, people learn groups of tasks relating to essential skills rather than specific activities.
People learn how to perform special movements, such as:
- Pronation of the wrist (to tun the forearm or hand so that the palm is directed downwards)
- Supination of the wrist (to turn the hand and forearm so that the palm faces up or forwards)
- Grasp and release
- Transferring weight from one foot to the other
- Elements of hand-eye co-ordination
The above techniques can be applied flexibly to activities such as washing up and other daily living tasks.
Tasks vary in complexity; people are guided through tasksby the Conductor and supported to perform them in their own chosen way. Similar movements are learned in different positions and combinations, enabling people to utilise their learning to achieve whatever movement they choose. Our programmes often involve small groups of people learning together, but working towards their own goals.
Each group is supported by a Conductor who ensures that everyone is active and able to participate in the programme. The group provides a positive environment for learning, shared experiences play an important role; group members provide motivation and offer peer support to one another.
Additional activities, such as carrying objects, negotiating obstacles and moving around people, are all carried out using a rhythm, which helps prevent freezing and hesitation. Our sessions typically last 2.5 hours. Family members can also learn new techniques to assist with maintaining the length of stride, rhythm and control of walking pace. Since our programmes focus on conscious, cognitive learning, people are able to take the techniques they have learnt in one situation and transfer them to another.
This enables them to perform new activities in their own surroundings with security and confidence. The use of rhythm, awareness of body position and posture, breathing technique when speaking, fixing of limbs to help with control of tremor and/or dyskinesia can be applied in all situations.