Move4Parkinson’s is an organisation dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring people with Parkinson’s, their families, and carers to gain the knowledge and skills they need to improve their quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world today. In Ireland alone there are 8,000-12,000 people suffering from the disease and little understanding amongst the wider public of the difficulties this group are faced with on a day to day basis. Due to this lack of education, care options are often limited and people with Parkinson’s tend to be passive recipients of their healthcare, slow to take the lead in their recovery and well-being following diagnosis. This means that many of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s accept a quality of life that is far below what is possible for them.
When Mags herself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she was terrified. However, she determined that she was unwilling to just accept her fate without question. Mags established Move4Parkinson’s with the clear goal of educating and informing others on how to become more active in their own care. Move4Parkinson’s incorporates a ‘5 Elements’ framework that helps to simplify self-management into a number of key areas; Medical Support, Nutrition, Exercise, Emotional Well-Being, and Optional Treatments. The Move4Parkinson’s philosophy encourages people with Parkinson’s to choose programmes that best fit their specific needs and requirements, helping people to ensure they understand the choices available and encouraging them to try approaches that they might not have previously considered.
This proactive approach to care has shifted the balance. Move4Parkinson’s is transforming the lives of people with Parkinson’s across Ireland. Through engagement with the medical profession Mags and her organisation have crisscrossed the country speaking at various awareness events to over 1,000 people. All of this has led to increased engagement from the Parkinson’s community with hundreds looking to incorporate the ‘5 Elements’ approach into their care plans. Move4Parkinson’s has also established a performance choir of people with Parkinson’s to raise awareness amongst the general public and to boost the wellbeing and activity levels of those involved. Both of these channels have allowed Move4Parkinson’s to educate, empower and inspire people with Parkinson’s in Ireland, demonstrating to them that a better quality of life is within reach.
The credibility that being part of the SEI process has given us has opened opportunities that might never have otherwise been possible at such an early stage in our development.