ParKanDo implements new program focusing on carers

ParKanDo is implementing a new program called 'chair yoga'. Peter and Carmel Wall practicing some moves with yoga teacher Leanne Cannan. (Damjan Janevski) 268108_01

By Molly Magennis

ParKanDo, a peer support group run by volunteers with lived experience of Parkinson’s, has partnered with Carers Victoria to offer a new program.

‘Chair Yoga’ is a new pilot program offered by the organisation. Not only does it help those who suffer from Parkinson’s by getting them physically active, but it’s also aimed at giving their carers a chance to do something for themselves.

Co-leader of ParKanDo Peter Wall is also a carer for his wife Carmel.

Mr. Wall said the idea of the program is that while the chair yoga class is being conducted at the Newport Community Hub, simultaneously the carers would be in another room doing their own program.

He said it’s all about giving carers a chance to connect and openly talk about things they may be struggling with.

“We were talking about some ideas, like perhaps having a trivia morning,” he said.

“It just is a chance [for] people [to] spend some time together, have a bit of a chat, have a talk, compare like for like, compare situations,” Mr. Wall said.

“Carers particularly, they go through a whole range of emotions.”

“This [program] was particularly saying to people well…let’s just focus a little bit on the carers for a change and because obviously without the carers, the people being cared for are going to strike difficulties down the track.”

Co-leader and Co-secretary Pam West suffers from Parkinson’s. She said physical activity is so important for people who suffer from the disease.

“From personal experience, it makes a difference, and all the research is telling us it’s really important to keep up the exercise,” she said.

The program is currently being held on zoom, but when safer will be held at the Newport Community Hub.

It’s free to join, and anyone with a disability, chronic condition or who is a senior is more than welcome to join.