30th June 2020

Occupational Therapy making life easier for patients and carers

The Occupational Therapy Team haven’t let Covid-19 get in the way of their support for patients.

Occupational Therapists usually like to see people in their own homes to gain a more realistic view of a person’s life and the challenges they have. They take time to get to know patients and their families to find out what’s important to them and the activities that are meaningful. They look at equipment which will enable them to be as independent as possible in their environments and which will conserve their energy. They also support and look after the safety of those looking after and helping them.

During the pandemic the team continues to advise on discharges from the In-patient Unit and, if necessary, visit people at home to assess and enable their safety and independence in the transition.

The team also gives advice over the phone, or via Zoom, on equipment needs, managing symptoms such as breathlessness, and the variety of relaxation exercises to manage stress or anxiety.

They also assess and for arrange grab rails to be fitted around people’s houses, and although equipment services are reduced – they are still issuing items vital for a person’s safety.

OT Emma explains how they have supported a patient and his wife at home: “The gentleman was having difficulty with transfers (moving from one surface to another, such as chair, bed, toilet) and mobility at home.

This was having a huge impact on him and his wife because she was his main carer and this was putting them both at risk of injury.”

Following a home visit, the OT Team issued some equipment to improve his comfort, increase his independence, and conserve his energy. They provided manual handling equipment and advice for him and his wife to reduce the risk of injury and help them feel more in control of transfers.

And they taught him seated tai chi exercises to practice at home, allowing him to maintain his activity levels.

See our helpful patient resources information