Philip Lives Life to the Full with Day Program Slowing Parkinson’s Symptoms

Philip has always embraced what life has to offer — from travel, good food and wine, to spending time with family and friends, and watching his favorite sports. And while a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was a shock, with the help of Royal Rehab Philip was determined not to allow his condition to stop him from enjoying his way of life.

It was in November of 2019 when Philip was travelling across Australia that he noticed a problem with his left arm.

“I thought picking up suitcases whilst travelling might’ve been how I hurt myself. I returned home and realised that my arm was still not improving. I had the strangest sensation that my arm didn’t belong to me anymore. It was at this point I knew I needed further medical advice,” said Philip.

Philip had a series of tests and appointments that led to seeing a neurologist who diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease. He was promptly referred to Royal Rehab Private Hospital’s Day Rehab program; a recognised centre for neurological expertise with dedicated Parkinson’s disease programs.

Under the direction of a rehabilitation specialist, Royal Rehab’s multidisciplinary team designed a personalised program to maintain and improve Philip’s physical function and abilities in areas such as voice and movement. His initial program consisted of four disciplines – exercise physiology, speech pathology, physiotherapy, and hydrotherapy. He also took part in the PD Warrior® 10-week challenge – an exercise program that Royal Rehab operates under license which is specifically targeted to those with the early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Senior Exercise Physiologist, Luke, worked closely with Philip from day one of his Day Rehab program.

“Our programs are designed to help clients regain independence through evidence-based programs. Through one-on-one and group-based programs, Phil has increased his level of function and experienced a slowing of the progression of his symptoms. He made significant improvements in his speech by increasing his volume and phonation time.  He started learning exercises which are specific to Parkinson’s which helped to improve his coordination, overall strength, and balance. He was able to increase his walking speed and his cardiovascular fitness, showed improvements in his upper limb strength and fine motor control with his hands.”

– Luke, Senior Exercise Physiologist

Philip enjoyed the variety of disciplines offered in his Day Rehab program but particularly favoured hydrotherapy due to merging rehab with a favourite pastime of swimming. As time went on, gradually his confidence in his own abilities grew.

Currently, on top of the weekly sessions at Royal Rehab and the associated home exercises, he also completes regular Pilates training, upper limb and hand exercises, and cycle spin classes.

“Phil has remained very motivated to use exercise to help manage the symptoms of his Parkinson’s. Throughout his journey he has stayed diligent and proactive in completing his exercises, making it a real priority. It is so encouraging to see Phil be so committed in taking control of Parkinson’s and not let it dictate how he lives his life,” said Luke.

Philip credits the team at Royal Rehab Private Hospital as “highly professional, experienced and very talented individuals”.

When asked about what he learnt in the program and what he wishes to pass onto future clients, Philip had this to say: “Embrace the program openly and willingly. Maintain discipline.”

Philip now looks forward to keeping up with his regular exercises and relaxing with his family over the summer.

For more information on the Royal Rehab Private Hospital Day Program, please contact us on (02) 9808 0522.