Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) believes every person with Parkinson’s disease (PD) should have access to a physiotherapist – in particular, one who is experienced in treating movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Physiotherapists (PTs) play an important role in holistic care as they utilize evidence-based approaches to movement and exercise that support people with Parkinson's in managing symptoms and maintaining wellbeing.
Unfortunately, physiotherapy is inaccessible to many British Columbians living with Parkinson's due to financial constraints and/or geographic barriers. Furthermore, not all physiotherapists have taken PD-specific training beyond the basic module and experience from physiotherapy school.
To increase access to Parkinson's-specific therapies, Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) has launched a virtual physiotherapy service. PSBC's own neuro physiotherapist, Shelly Yu, will be accepting people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) for phone or video-conferencing sessions. For people meeting certain criteria, this service will be available free of charge. Sessions will be available one day per week, on Mondays (8:30am – 4:30pm).
This service is for people with Parkinson’s disease in BC who:
- have a confirmed Parkinson’s/Parkinson’s plus diagnosis, OR are a caregiver seeking advice on how to safely transfer/mobilize a person with PD;
- are not currently seeking physiotherapy elsewhere;
- have limited finances and are unable to pay for physiotherapy services, OR are unable to find a suitably trained physiotherapist in their community.
To sign-up or learn more, please contact us at 1-800-668-3330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthcare Professionals wishing to refer clients to this program may do so through PD Connect.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This service is not intended to provide emergency support. In case of emergency, such as fall or injury, please call 9-1-1. Please speak to your doctor or primary care provider for advice on urgent matters.
Meet the Physiotherapist
Shelly Yu is a neuro physiotherapist based in Vancouver. She began her journey working with the Parkinson’s community in the UK, at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery. There, she was fortunate to work with some of the most brilliant minds in the Parkinson’s field. She has worked in spasticity and dystonia, facial rehab, hand, vestibular, and movement disorder clinics, with the final leading her to become trained in PD Warrior and Dance for PD.
You may recognize her from some of Parkinson Society BC’s exercise programs! Alongside her work at PSBC, she is the lead physiotherapist at a private neurology clinic in the Lower Mainland. She is also the Advocacy Officer at the Global Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, working on health equity issues within Canada – specifically, access to care. Outside of her clinical practice, she is a dancer in a modern dance company and an amateur knitter!