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Pre-COVID training: MNCLHD Parkinson’s nurse Vince Carroll, PD Fit Boxing class participants Graham Saxby and Paul Grant, and neurological physiotherapist Amanda Sleeman.

Virtual Parkinson’s support programs a big hit in pandemic

Mar 30, 2021

Twelve months ago, Mid North Coast Local Health District’s (MNCLHD) Parkinson’s Disease support team could never have imagined they would be delivering their group meetings and exercise programs online.

In 2021, however, these different ways of supporting and connecting with people living with Parkinson’s have proved to be very successful.

In the lead up to World Parkinson’s Day on 11 April, the support meetings and singing, boxing and music therapy programs will continue across the Mid North Coast as an important way of improving health outcomes for clients.

MNCLHD Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant Vince Carroll said the day would help raise community awareness of the disease as the search for a cure continues.

“Parkinson’s is a progressive, degenerative condition of the central nervous system which affects the brain’s ability to control movement and may also be associated with other symptoms including mood, depression and anxiety. Its causes are unknown, and a cure has not yet been found,” Mr Carroll said.

“During April, the Parkinson’s community on the Coffs Coast will be sharing information through their support group meetings and at the boxing, dancing, exercise and voice therapy programs held each week specifically for people with Parkinson’s.

“These programs offer emotional and practical support and are a way of connecting people who are facing similar challenges. They allow everyone to share feelings, resources and experiences, and provide motivation and inspiration to help those living with Parkinson’s to deal positively with the changes to their lifestyle.”

Mr Carroll said the prevalence of Parkinson’s increases by a factor of three after the age of 65 so the growth rate in the number of people living with the disease is expected to increase dramatically as the Australian population ages. Diagnosis of Parkinson’s can take years, and people can live with it for decades.

For further information, contact Vince Carroll, Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mid North Coast Local Health District on 6659 2300.

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