When I am asked the question, what age group benefits best from the ‘ Life beyond a neurological condition’ method my answer is always the same – from cradle to the grave.
You cannot start soon enough and really until one takes their last breath there is room for improvement.
If we wish to maintain optimal health and wellbeing especially with the changes brought about aging and with the progressive nature of some of the neurologically based conditions the work on ourselves must carry on.
Dr. András Pető taught us that every single life can be improved until our last breath, regardless of the severity of the condition.
Over nearly 4 decades our team worked with tiny babies and also with elderly individuals having a wide spectrum of abilities and aspirations.
One day at my time of Pető when I was a second-year student I was scheduled in for my practical training in the adult department. On that day something happened which had a great impact on me.
We had a large class of people with Parkinson’s and we were just about to start the lying tasks series when the door opened and two ambulance worker carried in a fragile old man lying on a stretcher. He was brought in by ambulance.
We transferred him onto the plinth where everybody started working in a lying position.
We facilitators were moving around as always, giving just the right amount of facilitation at the right time when it’s needed.
I arrived at the fragile old man’s plinth to facilitate a movement with his leg when he held onto my hand and whispered. My dear, you all here are my lifeline. Coming to class twice a week keeps me alive and more comfortable in my condition.
He was very old and can no longer walk, his thin hands were holding onto mine, but his eyes were on fire with determination and gratitude.
This what was installed into everyone at Pető from the youngest age to the eldest.
The determination that defied all odds and the desire to only look for what is possible; while disregarding everything that would jeopardise that.
After that session, I had a few quiet tears in the garden. Tears of admiration and respect.
But I also realised that on that day I was given a gift of knowing something very important.
Seeing it with my own eyes and living through that experience gave me a strong foundation for my future work and a belief more solid than any doubts.
What made me tell you this? A week ago we have lost one of the members of our conductive family from our class for individuals with Parkinson’s.
Richard joined us 2 years ago after I have given a presentation to the local Parkinson’s society.
His full-time carer approached me after the meeting and said to me- I am not sure if you could help him, possibly not as on the top of Parkinson’s he has dementia.
I looked up as he pointed towards Richard who sat in a wheelchair far away from us in the corner of the room.
We cannot say until we give it a go- I answered.
That is how Richard started with us. He was a former church minister. A kind and gentle man a true gentleman.
After his first session, Richard walked out of the classroom for the biggest surprise to his devoted carer Martin. Richard was wheelchair bound previously over 5 years.
Richard loved the sessions. A few months back his son was questioning if Richard should carry on so we did a test run with him. I have never seen him working more eagerly so the outcome would be that he can carry on in the class. Which he did and he also came to our recent February Half term mini block.
Richard attended our weekly classes and worked on himself until he took his last breath in his sleep.
He left joy in our hearts, although we miss his gentle but witty character the joy of knowing him is stronger.
just for now…