Time for show of support – Call for Parkinson’s facility to improve lives of sufferers

World Parkinson day 7daysBy 7DAYS, Megha Merani, 12.04.2015: THE UAE is in desperate need of a daycare facilities for people with Parkinson’s, the founder of a support group for the disease has said. Vonita Singh, who started the Parkinson’s Support Group Dubai to reach out to patients in the UAE, says patients and their families need urgent help to cope with the incurable condition. Speaking at an awareness event held by the group to mark World Parkinson’s Day, she told 7DAYS: “There is a big gap for a midpoint between home and hospital. Like in the West – the US or UK – you have daycare centres. But with us, here in the UAE, and in Asia, I’ve seen it’s either home or hospital… That’s a big gap and a big need.” Singh, who founded the probono support group after she lost her father to Parkinson’s, said support and therapy is crucial for patients not to lose hope and manage their symptoms for a better quality of life. The volunteer, who holds free twice-weekly ‘Movement Mantra’ sessions to help people with the condition keep their muscles active, believes the centre is also key to helping fight depression, which can overcome sufferers, and prevent them from becoming isolated. She explained: “The centre can have a physiotherapist, a speech therapist, movement therapist, doctors and family members can be at ease knowing the patient is in a safe environment with technical backing, not only getting treatment but also socialising, instead of sitting home maybe watching TV all day.” Those looking for support with Parkinson’s can reach out to the group via its Facebook page, Parkinson’s Support Dubai Live Love Life.