Research shows that a comprehensive program of intensive exercise, combined with specific Parkinson therapeutic intervention such as speech therapy, swallowing therapy and occupational therapy, can significantly slow the deterioration associated with Parkinson disease. Through working together to battle Parkinson, our participants have created a strong community of Parkinson Fighters. View the class schedule.
Studies have shown that goal-based motor skill training, such as boxing, can improve brain function in those with Parkinson’s disease. Boxing is unique in that it works on balance, timing, gait speed, and hand-eye coordination – all of which are challenged by Parkinson’s. If done on a consistent basis it can also improve mobility and overall quality of life. Boxing is also incredibly fun and a great stress reliever.
Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy
Physiotherapy helps people with PD to maintain their maximum level of mobility and can help in assisting them to keep their independence. In addition to targeted physiotherapy sessions, we also offer arts & crafts classes, which gives users the opportunity to work on their fine motor skills in a fun and creative way.
Tai Chi sessions involve a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. Studies have shown that Tai Chi can improve balance and postural stability. It can also prevent falls among people with Parkinson’s disease. It is also great for relieving stress and anxiety.
Pilates, Dance & Exercise Classes
The benefits of exercise to the brain and its cognitive functions are voluminous. Clinical studies have shown that various types of exercise, including aerobic, resistance and dance can improve cognitive function and slow the neurodegenerative process associated with Parkinson’s disease. Exercise can help to improve postural stability, balance, and tremor. It can also help alleviate depression, negative mood and cognitive decline associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Speech, Voice & Swallowing Therapies
More than 80% of Parkinson patients experience a difficulty swallowing during the course of their disease. It reduces the quality of life, complicates medication intake and leads to malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia, which is a major cause of death in Parkinson’s disease. Patients can also experience difficulty speaking, and may start to speak too softly, display mumbled speech, or experience a loss of voice inflection leading to a monotonous sounding voice. Our certified speech therapists instruct specific techniques and exercises that help strengthen the vocal muscles. They also work on swallowing exercises that strengthen the swallowing muscles and help to prevent food or liquid aspiration. We also run singing classes, which complement these therapies, providing a perfect setting for participants to practice their skills while singing to live music.
Depression and loneliness are prevalent in the Parkinson population. This is partly due to physiological factors, but also due to the stresses associated with living with a chronic disease with no cure in sight. Being part of a support group gives patients a chance to discuss their day to day challenges with trained therapists and others in the Parkinson community. Knowing that they are not alone serves to greatly reduce their sense of isolation and alleviate their negative symptoms. We also provide support groups for family members, as we understand the challenges and responsibilities associated with having loved ones experience this difficult time in their lives.