2014 Napier


2014 UPBEAT Weekend, Kennedy Park Resort, Napier

The 2014 UPBEAT weekend was held 29-31 August at Kennedy Park in Napier. More than 100 people with early onset Parkinson's and partners attended. The upper North Island was well represented and members from Wellington and as far away as Dunedin also attended.

Friday afternoon started with “Raise your voices” and the sing-along was not only a fun way to learn about Parkinson’s and speech but was also a great icebreaker. Another highlight from the afternoon was the presentation “Parkinson’s: It’s All  in Your Head” by Auckland member Andrew Johnson, who described his experience with Parkinson’s. Another was the presentation by members who attended the 2014 Outward Bound course. Rob Gilmour from the Waikato Branch had everyone laughing with his funny commentary on the course. 

The Saturday and Sunday morning sessions both began with a group tai chi session led by Wellington UPBEAT member and tai chi instructor, Oscar Getreuer. Neurologist Dr Stuart Mossman from Capital and Coast DHB spoke about pharmacological solutions and the importance of physical exercise in treating Parkinson’s. Dr Mossman explained that balance based exercise such as tai chi had been shown to improve strength and postural stability. 

The speakers were varied and there was plenty of question and answer time. Dr Victor Birger Dieriks from the Centre for Brain Research talked about the latest research on the progression of Parkinson’s in the brain. Neurologist Dr David McAuley from Auckland DHB spoke about Deep Brain Stimulation treatment. Dr McAuley answered questions about the assessment process for DBS and explained what the surgery involves.

Saturday afternoon’s excursions to local vineyards for lunch and a wine-tasting was a relaxing way to get to know people better and to catch up with old friends. On Saturday night people put on their dancing shoes and took salsa lessons with instructor Kelsey Roderick. The weekend ended with a presentation by psychiatrist Dr Adam Sims from Capital and Coast DHB who spoke about non-motor symptoms related to Parkinson’s including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and problems with sleep. 

Arrangements were tailored to suit the needs of people with Parkinson’s. Breaks between sessions allowed members to eat, drink, chat or rest. During these intervals, group discussions on topics relevant to people with early onset Parkinson’s and their partners were well attended.


Presentation reports

Non motor symptoms of Parkinson's (PDF), presentation slides from Dr Adam Sims.

To view videos from speakers at the UPBEAT weekend, click here.

Click here for a copy of the programme (PDF).