SUPPORT OUR PETITION TO CONTINUE FEDERAL FUNDING OF AN ESSENTIAL PHYSIOTHERAPY EXERCISE PROGRAM FOR PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON'S DISEASE
Hello. My name is Tara Preston and I have advanced Parkinson's Disease (PD) which was diagnosed when I was 27. I have been living with this disease for 15 years. As a person with young onset PD, I find community physiotherapy benefits me a great deal. I have also noticed a positive impact on all members of the physiotherapy classes, regardless of age.
*Parkinson's Disease affects around 80,000 Australians.
*It occurs as the brain begins to lose a neurotransmitter, dopamine. Onset may vary but the average age of onset is around 60.
*It affects the person physically, socially, cognitively, financially and emotionally.
*It is a chronic, progressive disease that, to date has no cure.
*Certain aspects of PD can be alleviated by physiotherapy. It allows people with PD to exercise using a safe, PD targeted, physiotherapy based program.
*The community physiotherapy (CP) program provides social and emotional support. It provides a sense of achievement and reduces feelings of stress, anxiety and depression commonly found in people with PD.
*People with PD can maintain their abilities for longer, it helps with muscle strengthening and co-ordination, increases mobility, balance, corrects gait and posture, increases flexibility, general fitness and strengthens muscles used in speech and swallowing.
***THE ESSENTIAL COMMUNITY PHYSIOTHERAPY PROGRAM will thus help keep people with PD out of hospitals and hospices for longer, which has enormous financial benefits for people with PD and the community.**
* In 2005, around $300 million was spent on people with PD in hospitals and hospices.
*$12.2 million that was spent on preventative allied health services (clinical psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and specialist PD nurses).
*Federal funding bodies have stopped this program once before. We petitioned and received funding. With your support, we hope to reinstate funding once again, so please sign this petition so that people with PD can access this essential service.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.