Hi, I’m Andrew Forsyth. I have been a Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist for almost four years. I work for Herts Neurology unit based at Langley House, Watford. I cover the whole are of West Hertfordshire. Within my role I provide home visits and clinic appointments. I also conduct telephone and email consultations on a regular basis as this method has proven successful at providing coherent advice and support surrounding the condition and medication. Within the Herts Neurology service we have a variety of Multi-disciplinary professionals who have specialist knowledge in Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. The team consists of clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, technical instructors and rehab assistants.
Herts Neurology Unit offers many beneficial services and group session therapies that are aimed at improving symptom control for non-motor and motor control symptoms in Parkinson’s.
The groups we currently run are listed below
Mindfulness – Mindfulness is being aware of our thoughts and feelings at the present time. The aim of mindfulness is to change our ways of thinking to promote positive thoughts and feelings. This has been highly proven to reduce unwanted stress, anxiety and depression.
Exercise/Stable – Exercise has been proven to significantly improve motor and non- motor symptoms in Parkinson’s. With Parkinson’s the speech can become quieter and movements gradually become smaller. The Stable group is based on the Lee Silverman Voice therapy treatment which delivers intensive vocal therapy to increase vocal loudness. The Lee Silverman voice therapy is also designed to retrain the brain into thinking LOUD every time when speaking. The stable group has the same concept, but its focuses on BIG motor movements. The sessions includes practising a variety of exercises that are designed to improve aspects of gait, co-ordination, posture, core and improve fine motor movements. It is run over a course of 6-8 weeks.
Memory group – A group designed for people with mild memory problems. This focuses on techniques and cues that can be used in everyday life to help improve memory and aid memory on a day to day basis.
Fatigue management group – In Parkinson’s fatigue is a common problem. Fatigue can be caused by anti-Parkinson’s medication or be a symptom of the condition itself. The aim of the group sessions is to provide practical techniques and advise on how to help overcome and manage fatigue.
Self-Management Group – This course is run over a total of three days. The aim is to provide useful information and relevant advice for those living with the condition of Parkinson’s with a view to improve their symptom control and quality of life. The focus is also on increasing independence and empowering the course attendee to be more in control of their condition and to be involved in the decision making process in relation to their condition and on-going treatment.