Nottinghamshire Hospice

Adding Life to Days

Palliative care rehabilitation

Palliative Care Rehabilitation

Palliative care rehabilitation is an important part of care and improves patients’ function and comfort. Unfortunately patients with life-limiting illnesses may end up with other disabilities as a result of bed rest and deconditioning as well as neurological and musculoskeletal complications from their illness or treatments and they can experience a higher prevalence of weakness, pain, fatigue and dyspnoea and other symptoms.

We try to sustain patients’ physical functioning and independence for as long as possible to maintain and sometimes improve their quality of life, and to reduce the burden of care on the caregivers.

Our physiotherapy team focuses on maximising patients’ physical, psychological, social and vocational functioning, and our rehabilitation services support patients and their families through periods of change to help them achieve the best possible quality of life and wellbeing.

Adding life to days

Our aim is to add life to days by helping people live well, enjoy themselves and feel as well as possible at the end of life. We organise a range of activities to keep patients entertained and as a form of therapy.

Our activity programme includes a wide range of activities and trips, many that patients themselves have chosen. Last year we embarked on a river ride, took patients to a Christmas Fair and visited local garden centres.

The hospice volunteers take a lead in lots of the activities as complementary therapists, quiz masters, entertainment gurus, travel advisors on outings and shopping escorts.

Further information about palliative care rehabilitation:

In 2004 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that rehabilitation should be an intrinsic part of palliative care and that patients should receive an active and planned approach to rehabilitation that involves assessment, goal setting, care planning and evaluation.

The following aspects are integral to palliative care rehabilitation (Acreman et al, 2008):

  • A focus on patient-centred goals which aim to optimise independence, improve quality of life and mood, reduce symptoms and maximise wellbeing, and facilitate the person remaining in their preferred place of care
  • A multidisciplinary approach across organisations to promote continuity of care
  • Continual assessment of a person’s needs and strengths
  • Forward planning to anticipate changing needs to increase the likeliness of being able to respond quickly to changes
  •  Supporting people and their families through periods of transition
  • Assist people in dealing with issues, such as a reduction in their ability and preparing them for end of life
  • Assessment and access to equipment in a timely manner
  • Education for people and their families

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