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Sport Parkinson’s step in to help a Parkinson’s exercise group continue.

Updated: Feb 20

Angela, a Physiotherapy Assistant Practitioner for the NHS in Pembrokeshire, have just lost the use of their gym hall in Withybush due to the findings of Raac, which is described as weak concrete that causes buildings to crumble.

Angela is part of a very small Neuro community team that see patients who are diagnosed with Parkinson's. They are assessed by a registered Physiotherapist, and we engage with people in their own homes. Pembrokeshire is a rural coastal part of West Wales and transport links are very minimal for the ageing population, so we reach out to a lot of patients in their own homes.

From Sept 2022 – August 2023, we have taught 10 groups totalling 67 people with Parkinson’s.

With the help and support of a Sport Parkinson’s grant fund, we have been able to purchase new equipment and hire a new hall facility so that we can continue with our group sessions in our local Parkinson's community.

The programme we provide is for eight weeks with two groups, class 1 seated and class 2 standing. They will be taught the essential exercises with a drumming fitball session.

The main objective of the classes is to introduce newly-diagnosed Parkinson's patients to an increase of their physical activity, whilst experiencing movement to music. I’d like to get patients moving more and maintain the interest in exercise with co-ordination, balance, flexibility, and hand grip being the main objectives to improve.

In addition to our set Physio exercises, I want to introduce drumming PD exercises so patients can continue to follow the online classes held through Parkinson's UK.

As a Physio community team, we are very passionate about introducing our patients to local sporting clubs and groups. During our time with patients in these groups we introduce them to physical activities such as going to Haverfordwest Golf Club, Tennis club, Walkability groups, and their local leisure centre.

Anything we can do to increase physical activity with our patients is extremely rewarding and helps reduce the pressures of patients needing to use the NHS, whilst providing the person with a sense of belonging and purpose to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Thank you, Sport Parkinson’s!

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