I am 63 years of age and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in June 2006. The benefits of Conductive Education classes were first mentioned to me by my local Parkinson’s nurse on my initial meeting with her in early 2007. I immediately made contact with the Conductor and arranged to observe my first class. Apart from enforced absences, such as holidays and illnesses, I have attended weekly since that time. There are two main reasons for my continuing attendance at the classes:
1. Physical Exercise.
The specially-devised exercises are of benefit as they consist of co-ordination, balance and fine-movements. It is a proven fact that regular exercise slows down the onset of Parkinson’s.
2. Mental stimulation.
I live by myself, and whilst I have a small circle of friends whom I can rely on to assist me if need be, there is much benefit and camaraderie within the class. Although we do not speak continuously about our condition, there is the opportunity to discuss helpful tips on coping with related problems. There is also the opportunity to undertake a short period of Speech Therapy each week.
I am fortunate in that I do not suffer from mood-swings, although some days are obviously better than others, as is the case for everyone. I feel that the Conductive Education classes are the reason I am able to keep matters in perspective. I am certain that I have gained an enormous amount of confidence over the years from the exercises and the conversations within the group.
I make sure that I go for a walk every day and try to do some of the class exercises, although I must confess that I need to do more. The benefits of exercise were shown to me recently when I attended an external, intensive Voice Therapy course. This resulted in my using a much louder voice, which was noticed and commented-on by the Conductor and friends alike. It is greatly important, therefore, that I continue to utilise the exercises to provide me with the two topics highlighted above.