When someone has a life limiting illness, Physiotherapy intervention aims to maximise movement and function for as long as possible. This is achieved by addressing physical, psychological, social and emotional needs and can help an individual to better manage symptoms they may be experiencing. This can have a positive impact on quality of life and feelings of wellbeing.
Physiotherapy intervention is guided by realistic, personal goals. Once these have been established, the Physiotherapist formulates an individualised treatment plan for the person to work on. The Physiotherapist reviews the plan regularly and makes any necessary changes to help ensure goals are achieved.
Physiotherapy can help by:
- Providing functional assessments which may assist discharge planning from in-patient units: this can help to determine the level of supportive care, if any, required at home following discharge.
- Improving mobility – this could be anything from moving about in bed to getting out in the community.
- Improving functional ability at all stages of illness.
- Providing non-pharmacological management of symptoms such as breathlessness, pain, fatigue and anxiety.
- Responding to changes in a person’s condition and working with them to find strategies to maximise independence.
- Working with family members/carers to educate them regarding moving and handling techniques, positioning, stretches, etc. which may assist the individual to maintain their current level of function for as long as possible and promote their comfort.
- Giving people a stronger sense of control over their wellbeing.
”Physiotherapy has given me the confidence I needed to start building up my strength and endurance. I am now able to walk outdoors, on my own, and this has made such a difference to my life. I feel I am the best I can be.”