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 ensure goals are achieved.
Examples of interventions may include:
- Functional assessments which may assist discharge planning from in-patient units. This can help to determine the level of any supportive care, if any, required at home following discharge.
- Non-pharmacological management of breathlessness and/or fatigue which may include advice regarding pacing, breathing control and relaxation techniques.
- Non-pharmacological management of pain which may include advice regarding exercise regimes, positioning and possible use of ice or heat.
- Bed/chair exercises, mobility assessments and general advice to maintain current level of mobility for as long as possible.
- Working with family members/carers to educate them regarding moving and handling techniques, stretching of particular muscles/tendons which may assist the individual to maintain their current level of function for as long as possible and promote their comfort.
Referrals can be made by G.P.’s and any Health Care Professional