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Arklow-based Parkinson’s Group empowers members to manage condition

 Brian Duane in the exercise room at the Arklow-based Parkinson’s Group


“Parkinson’s disease affects everyone in different ways. There are so many ways that it affects people, so accessing something like a physiotherapy and speech group just allows people to maintain their function as it is, and manage their condition a little bit better,” according to Sean Cusack, Senor Physiotherapist, HSE Arklow Primary Care Centre.

Sean continues:

“Exercise is one of the best treatments for Parkinson’s disease, so that’s where our group comes in. It can be a very daunting time when someone receives a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, but there is a lot of support in the community that can help. Local Primary Care Centres like ours here in Arklow offer a range of supports to people living with Parkinson’s disease. We offer physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, nursing, occupational therapy, dietetics, psychology and counselling. One important support is a monthly physiotherapy and speech and language group that runs here in Arklow Primary Care Centre.”

Laura Nuzum, Speech and Language Therapist, Arklow Primary Care Centre, explains that “typically we would see people individually first for speech therapy. We would run through exercises with them to improve the loudness of their voice, maintain the voice that they have or improve it. Likewise, they would be going to physiotherapy - maybe at the same time. We decided to run the group as a maintenance for those exercises that they’ve learned in either physiotherapy or in speech therapy. So they’ve got the benefit of meeting each other and maintaining the exercise and the practice”.

Brian Duane, who attends the weekly group says that he finds it “reassuring to meet other people who have the same kind of complaints so you know you’re not alone. You pick up bits of information about what’s going on- like the Parkinson’s choir”.

Tommy Larkin, another member of the group, adds “With the help of the group, I think I could slow the whole process down. They give you directions on how to live your life with Parkinson’s basically, and how important diet and exercise, all that sort of stuff is. So in that way it’s very helpful”.

 Watch a video about how the Arklow-based Parkinson’s Group empowers members to manage their condition on