SPA Team – Live Well Centre

A unique project by:

SPA Team

Welcome to the Specialist Physical Activity (SPA) Team

The Exercise Referral Programme, delivered by the SPA Team – 12 weeks to a healthier, happier you!

The Specialist Physical Activity Team is made up of 9 dedicated staff members who support people with health conditions, people recovering from illness and older adults to become more active by providing a range of activities.

The team will be on hand to support you in planning your physical activity journey and provide you with the tools needed to facilitate long term behavioural changes which will have a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being.

Following receipt of your referral from your GP or other Health Professional, one of the team will contact you and help start your journey.  They will be on hand throughout your twelve week placement and once you have discussed your needs you will be placed in one of the following stages and a bespoke, tailored programme will be created for you.

Active Stage – suitable for anybody who is identified as ‘At risk’ of health issues and would benefit from increased physical activity

Functional Stage – to reduce the impact of underlying health issues

Maintenance Stage – long term condition management.  (MS, Parkinson’s, Stroke)

As well as having a named practitioner to support you from day one you will have the option to access a range of activities and the benefits of each choice will be fully explained to you.

  • Aquarobics
  • Tai Chi for Rehab
  • Gym sessions
  • Chair-based sessions
  • Well-being session for clients with mental health issues
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Neuro Bootcamp

Please note, all session are open to Middlesbrough residents and are free of charge.

What they say…

The staff are so supportive with no pressure. I was given lots of choice and when I first attended a gym session in The Live Well Centre I was made to feel so welcome with no judgement – everyone was in the same boat.

– Service user

Due to past trauma I was anxious about working with males – this had kept me form accessing physical activities in the past. I was able to select a female staff member who understood me and supported me throughout.

– Service user

My Parkinson’s Journey

In 2014 I started to get mild tremors in my left hand and walking wasn’t smooth.

I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s on 10/08/2016 at the age of 70. As well as tremors I developed a swans-neck deformity of my left hand. I had great difficulty walking without linking arms with someone.

My balance was poor and I fell occasionally and I never went out alone.

I shuffled, was unsteady and to stand up from floor level I had to crawl on my hands and knees to hoist myself up with the help from the door knob. I also had great difficulty getting out of bed.

My hand writing deteriorated to the point where family and friends were unable to decipher it, I used to do calligraphy on certificates etc. Plus various arts and crafts but had to give them up. I had an operation on 02/01/2018 to correct the hand deformity, it was originally partially successful but is now reverting.

My confidence was at rock bottom. I was initially put on Sinemet (125mg) 3times daily, and then altered to 4 times daily, then 1mg of Rasagaline was added in July 2017 by Zenita Cowen, this made a definite difference.

On 31st May 2017 I was referred to Physiotherapy Neurological Gym with Ann Woods  for several weeks.

Since joining the Parkinson’s Boot Camp with my sister in late 2016 at the Sports Village (run by Val Jones) I started to improve in all areas a bit at a time but still shuffled and was unsteady.

In late 2017 I was improving but still shuffling, and wouldn’t go out without support.

This year all the exercises just clicked. I could walk properly  and confidently on my own. I now walk 9000 steps 3-times per week plus 4000 steps at least once a week depending on the weather. Most mornings I dance, usually the Twist, for 10-15 minutes. I can also walk on country lanes.

As well as the walking exercise in the Boot Camp, my sister and I also like the hand to-knee exercise. Our favourite is the sit-to-stand exercise, our current personal record is 50 times in 1 session.

My writing is now legible, my confidence is much improved, more to come I hope, and I feel that when I originally joined I was in the bottom 5 of the group but I now feel I’m in the top 5!

We joined the Parkinson’s Dance Class this summer to supplement the Boot Camp.

I believe that the Boot Camp played a major part in my development. Thank you Val!

– Service user

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