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19th August 2020 Latest News Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s SA supports bushfire-affected KI communities

Parkinsons SA Kangaroo Island

Health specialists visit K.I. to offer specialised therapies.

Three specialist health workers have visited Kangaroo Island this week to provide therapy and counselling support to people living with Parkinson’s and those on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

In a first for the Island, the visiting experts delivered specialised neuro-physiotherapy services, crisis counselling, wellness coaching and occupational therapy to those who are struggling even more than usual due to the January bushfires.

The visit was coordinated by Parkinson’s South Australia (a THRF Group charity) in partnership with K.I. Disability Educator Monique Hayward.

Parkinson’s SA CEO Olivia Nassaris said access to a range of allied health professionals was vital to help slow the progression of symptoms for people affected by Parkinson’s.

“Neuro-physio is a specialist branch of physiotherapy designed to improve the function of people who are suffering physically from a neurological condition,” Olivia said.

“We became aware that clients on Kangaroo Island don’t have specialised support in many of the areas that are critical to maximise wellbeing.

“With the struggles this community has been having in 2020, we really wanted to go above and beyond to help people receive the same care and access to therapy services as those closer to Adelaide.”

By sending a team of experts – a Neuro-physiotherapist, a Social Worker and Occupational Therapist – Parkinson’s SA hopes to bridge the gap for their clients and other people in need. The team delivered an incredible 45 consultations while visiting from 17-19 August!

“Our three experts wanted to stretch their resources as far as possible for this community which has suffered so much,” Olivia said.

“There is also a huge need for in-home and functional assessments and our Occupational Therapist will conduct these. There’s also a need for counselling and coaching to teach strategies to manage chronic stress, depression and anxiety which are little known symptoms of Parkinson’s.”

Disability Educator and K.I. local Monique was extremely grateful for the support of Parkinson’s SA.

“A lot of our clients’ NDIS budgets are actually underspent because they don’t have access to the specialised therapists,” Monique said.

“I really want to see these people gain access to the right interventions to show them that they can live well with Parkinson’s and other conditions.

“And the counselling services are a huge area of need. Our people are tough and always think that others are worse off than them, but they don’t realise that just having a discussion or debrief may actually alert them to something that has been affecting them emotionally and physically.”

Participant Beth Davis was very grateful for the visit: “It was so beneficial for the people of KI to meet allied health professionals.”

To meet this growing need, Parkinson’s SA plans to organise future visits on a regular basis. Please contact Monique Hayward on 0477 091 700 to register your interest.