Maintaining Independence

Helping people to maintain their independence and function for as long as possible

The Wellbeing team at the Hospice is now fortunate to have two Occupational Therapists in post. Myself and my colleague Amy Kewley are immensely grateful to the Freemasons for their generous and timely donation of a new Dacia Duster vehicle to support our new provision of a community occupational therapy service.

Our role as Occupational Therapists, alongside our Wellbeing colleagues, is to help people to maintain their independence and function for as long as possible. We encourage people to set personal goals, and provide support to help them achieve those goals despite any impairment they might have. This often involves travel into the community to assess and meet peoples’ needs in their home environment.

We are able to support people by assessing any issues they may be having that are preventing them from meeting their goals and determining a therapeutic plan to overcome those difficulties.

Interventions may include provision of equipment, adapting tasks and routines, engaging in self-management strategies such as breathlessness support and anxiety management and pacing. We have an enabling focus which supports people to regain their confidence by managing everyday tasks and activities in a different way, and supporting patients and families in adapting to living well whatever the challenges they face.

An example of this would be a patient who cannot walk due to impingement on their spine. We would assess their suitability for equipment and organise for appropriate equipment such as hoists/ slings/wheelchair /bathing equipment/bed to be fitted at home. We would then practice with the patient and their family on the In-Patient-Unit and after discharge to ensure they are able to use the equipment safely, enabling that person to be able to access their home and the community wherever possible.

This car will help our team to provide timely assessments and targeted interventions both to in-patients at St Michael’s Hospice wishing to return to their home, and to those already living in the community who wish to remain in their own homes.

Thank you again from both of us, and from all those who will benefit from this wonderful gift going forward.

Nikki Bentham, Senior Occupational Therapist

Find out more about our Wellbeing Programme.