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Living Better With Parkinson's

Do you, or does someone you know, live with Parkinson’s Disease (PD)? If so, you will know the importance of exercise in managing the symptoms and improving quality of life for those with this degenerative disease. You may also be wondering: What kind of exercise? When? Where? How often? 

The Living Better Program implements non-invasive treatments for those with Parkinson’s Disease, including the launch of a Parkinson’s Disease exercise program called PD SAFEx (Parkinson’s Disease Sensory Attention-focused Exercises)

The Living Better program is:
A community-based initiative to raise awareness and capability within the medical and general population of South Georgian Bay to implement early diagnosis and effective treatment for Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

The Living Better program will:
Design and provide robust holistic and non-invasive treatment options for people with Parkinson’s Disease, including lifestyle and fitness programs.

Building Capability

Living Better Seminars This Fall/Winter

Community engagement to raise awareness of the services and resources available to: those with Parkinson’s, caregivers and medical professionals. In partnership with Parkinson’s Canada and The Rural Ontario Medical Program’s (ROMP) Navigator Research Program.

Care Partnership

Comprehensive resources for caregivers provide tips and tools to successfully guide them through challenges they may face being a caregiver at every step of the disease.

ACT on Time

A program to help PD patients navigate their stays in hospital and other healthcare settings.

Canadian Guidelines from Parkinson’s Canada

The 2nd edition of the Canadian Guidelines on PD in collaboration with the Canadian Medical Association. The revised guidelines will recommend solutions to address gaps along the continuum of care through all phases of the disease, will provide updates in advanced therapies including the benefits of exercise from time of diagnosis.

Intervention – PD SAFEx

(Parkinson’s Disease Sensory Attention-focused Exercises)

What is the PD SAFEx Program?

PD SAFEx is an exercise program specifically designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease. The goal of PD SAFEx is to change brain function and reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

  • Series of PRE & POST assessments on motor, gait, balance, cognition and memory conducted by Dr Almeida
  • Each week the exercises progress to a new level. Simple and easy-to-do
  • Sensory attention-focused exercises carried out in 1 hour sessions in a group setting – 3 times a week for 12 weeks, instructed by certified exercise professionals
Clinically Proven Benefits are:
  • Slows the progression of symptoms
  • Proven through clinical trials
  • No negative side-effects
  • Most effective of all exercise strategies

Clinical trials have proven that PD SAFEx participants, whether or not they are using Parkinson’s drugs, have reduced the symptoms and slowed the progression beyond traditional drug therapy and other exercise options.

Who researched and developed the PD SAFEx exercise program?

Dr. Quincy J. Almeida, BSc, MSc (McMaster University), PhD (University of Waterloo)

  • Full Professor of Kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Founder (2004) and Director of the Movement Disorder Research and Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC), an internationally recognized centre for research of movement disorders
  • More than 1250 patients were involved in the clinical research in a university setting exercise environment.


What’s next? Maintaining results gained during the 12 week PD SAFEx program

Move Free

A research-based dance program for people with varying levels of physical and cognitive abilities run by trained dancer Louise Stewart Potts. Move Free takes place at The Centre every Monday at 1.30pm.

Personal Fitness Training

Exercise is proven to be one of the most powerful treatments for PD. Personal Training specialists at The Centre develop individualized exercise programs and ensure that the client exercises both safely and efficiently.

Karn Exercise Routine

Learn an exercise routine developed by a client, living with PD, involved in the PD SAFEx research program and who regularly exercises at The Centre

Taoist Tai Chi

A movement program based on Tai Chi specifically designed to improve balance, agility & well being.

Nordic Pole Walking

Research demonstrates that Nordic Pole Walking improves mobility and balance in PD.

Boxing for PD

Non-Contact boxing classes for individuals with PD.

Local Support Groups

Collingwood has a very active support group that meets on the second Tuesday of every month at the Taoist Tai Chi Centre starting at 1:30. For more information, contact Heather at 705-445-1623

We are Looking for Volunteers – PD SAFEx at The Centre Collingwood
To assist with the delivery of the PD SAFEx Program in the Fall. Should you be interested and/or have questions, please contact us.