Exercise programmes and much more: our rehabilitation team

Heidi, our specialist Occupational Therapist, and Ruth, our specialist Physiotherapist, share what rehabilitation has to do with hospice care. 

“The rehabilitation team is part of our Day Services department. This means we support people who are terminally ill but in an earlier stage of their illness than those receiving our hospice at home care or staying on our In-Patient Unit. Lots of people don’t realise you can be terminally ill for months or years – not just a few weeks.

We help people take back control of their symptoms and find ways to manage them in their day to day lives. On our two clinic days a week we see a wide variety of people – this can be people still receiving active treatment such as chemotherapy, not undergoing any active treatment or waiting for their treatment to start.

We assess people’s mobility and functional needs, so if someone feels a little unsteady on their feet we can work with them to build their confidence and improve their stability through an exercise programme.

We work with people on a one to one basis or in small groups to make sure we’re able to tailor treatment plans to around people’s goals, aims and wishes. It’s about what they want to achieve from the rehabilitation therapy. It doesn’t matter if it’s someone who is brand new to exercise or who has had high levels of fitness, we support everyone at every level.

Many people find the idea of going to a public gym very daunting – even more so when they’re terminally ill. We have our own gym here at the hospice where we can offer safe supervised exercise with specialised equipment in a small friendly environment. This really helps people feel supported and safe during their therapy.

Equally, if someone comes to us feeling limited in their day to day activities due to their symptoms we can help with that too. We can give practical advice on ways to manage everyday activities, chores and leisure pursuits more safely and independently. This can have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of patients too as they feel they have some control back in their lives.

In addition to the more exercise based therapies, we provide clinical professional advice on a variety of symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, breathlessness or weight loss to name a few. We find for some people just knowing they’re not the only ones experiencing draining cancer fatigue helps, together with our advice this proves to be very beneficial.”

Further Information

To access our Day Services including our rehabilitation clinics, groups, classes, and complementary therapies you must be referred. Referrals will be accepted from Doctors, Registered Nurses, and Allied Health Professionals. If you wish to self-refer talk to your GP first.

In order to access our services, you or your loved one must live within Brighton & Hove and the surrounding area and have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

To access our Day Services please contact us on 01273 273400 and ask to speak to the Day Services team or email dayservices@martlets.org.uk.

If you are a healthcare professional and would like more information please click here