NHS Fife Physiotherapy teams provide cover to both Hospice Units and assess and treat a range of issues including respiratory, functional, mobility, neurological and orthopaedic issues. The Physiotherapy team are also specialists in Lymphoedema - they assess and treat patients for this. Palliative care Physiotherapists work towards improving the quality of life of the patient, where possible, maintaining independence by working with the patient and their family to achieve their goals, no matter how small they are.
Occupational Therapy (OT) is based on the knowledge that activity promotes health and wellbeing. When our ability to carry out our normal activity is compromised by illness it can affect physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.
The aim of a Palliative Care OT assessment and intervention is to help patients continue to engage in activities and to carry out their life roles, within the limitations of their illness.
OT interventions are based on what is important to the individual using a problem solving approach to anticipate functional difficulties and avoid crisis. A person centred approach is used to set activity related goals to optimise and improve quality of life and achieve a sense of control. As end of life approaches intervention often focuses on supporting families as their carer role intensifies.
A Palliative Care assessment and intervention may include:
- Optimising functional ability in activities of daily living
- Lifestyle management - including assisting people and their families/carers to make informed decisions about their preferred place of care/preferred place of death
- Symptom management - including fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety
- Seating assessment - including assessment for/provision of wheelchairs
- Provision of assistive equipment
- Discharge planning - including rapid discharge for end of life care at home
- Referrals to and liaison with community services
The occupational therapy team cover both Hospice Units, the Victoria Day Services and are an integral part of the Hospital Palliative Care Team.