Increasing research suggests that intensive training and exercise can provide both short and long-term benefits to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. However, given the variety of rehabilitation programmes available, choosing may be difficult. Engaging in regular exercise may require finding the program that fits the patient’s needs and preferences in order to sustain motivation across time and benefits in the long-term.
The Parkinson’s Individual Therapeutic Programme is a great opportunity to undergo intensive rehabilitation in a creative and energized environment. The programme aims to empower the individual by preventing the decline of motor functions, improving physical capacity, motivating the patient and improving confidence in social interactions and in daily activities, while promoting general wellbeing.
The duration of the programme can vary. A minimum of two weeks is recommended for better results.
During the program, participants will stay in a selected hotel, near the Campus. Nursing assistants from the Campus will render monitoring and support during the night for participants at the hotel. Participants can rely on assistance 24/7, contacting someone for help at any time, either from the room at the hotel or from any public area. The training and learning program will run at the Campus, amid extensive gardens, with an indoor pool, a fully equipped and adapted gym as well as an outdoor exercise area.
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The initial assessment will identify the patient’s problems and determine the individualized treatment plan and objectives to evaluate the progression after the programme. The rehabilitation team and the expert for Parkinson’s, PhD Joaquim Ferreira, will conduct the assessment and issue and Individual Treatment Plan which will set the intensity of the program and adjust results to the clinical condition of the patient. The Treatment Plan is a comprehensive approach that gathers knowledge from different areas, including: Neurology, Physical Rehabilitation, Hydrotherapy, Neuro-rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Diet and Nutrition and Psychology.
Daily rehabilitation will take up to 6 hours, according to the guidelines set in the Treatment Plan. Exercise programs cover different techniques:
- LSVT LOUD™ and LSVT BIG™ Program Parkinson;
- Nordic Walking Program;
- Hydrotherapy Bad Ragaz and Halliwick in Parkinson;
- Ronnie Gardiner Rhythm Method®;
- Parkinson’s Dance Program ;
- Adapted Parkinson Boxing Aerobic.
The Rehabilitation Team will conduct the Treatment Plan, adjusting intensity to the patient’s tolerance. They will continuously support the patient and supervise the treatment.
Educational sessions aim to explore strategies for better management of daily issues:
- Medication issues;
- Sleep disturbance;
- Common misconceptions;
- Exercise, speech, swallowing and diet tips;
- Balance tips;
- Non-motor issues.
Each participant must:
- Be able to endure a minimum of one hour of exercise per day;
- Be functionally independent;
- Not present major balance problems or history of falls in the last 3 months;
- Not present a degree of cognitive impairment that impacts daily living activities;
- Have a stable medical condition;
- Bring a medical certificate from a doctor (GP or neurologist) attesting that they don’t suffer from a cardiovascular disease or other condition that may preclude them from doing intensive rehabilitation.
Doctors who perform this medical procedure
Professor Joaquim Ferreira holds a degree in Medicine and a PHD in Neurology by the Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de Lisboa.
He is the Director of the European Section of the International Society for Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Diseases. He is a professor of Neurology and Clinical Pharmacology in Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de Lisboa and he is responsible for the Unit of Clinical Pharmacology at Instituto de Medicina Molecular.
He is also responsible for the Commitee of Education of the International Society for Movement Disorders.
His main areas of interest are Parkinson’s, movement disorder, neuropharmacology, muscular dystonia, botulin toxin and Huntington’s disease.