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Therapies team see light at the end of the tunnel with new normal

In May, the Therapies team encouraged staff and volunteers to take part in a wellbeing challenge to raise money for the Hospice.

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Just over a year ago now, the world changed for everybody. For the Therapies team, we had to make a lot of adjustments quickly. Our roles, as we knew them, suddenly became very different. We were more than happy to help where we were needed most, especially in the first few weeks when the ward was struggling with getting to grips with Covid-19 and the extent of staff sickness. We donned our PPE along with the nursing staff, and although we couldn’t give our usual therapy treatments at that time, we helped where we could by giving out meals and covering shifts.

 

Continuing to care for our patients online

 

As physiotherapists, occupational therapists and complementary therapists, we also had our own patient lists to cover. As we were unable to offer hands-on treatments, we did assessments over the phone, gave advice and sent out well-being packs. These consisted of advice sheets for things like massage, acupressure points, mindfulness exercises that patients could do at home with assistance from carers and relatives. Aromatherapy blends were provided for those that needed them and delivered to their door. There were also activity sheets, quizzes and things like colouring, spot the difference, etc. to keep patients who were having to isolate at home occupied.

 

We also carried on doing weekly phone calls for the patients who used to attend our day services at Pemberton Place, and we did some conference calls so that the patients could talk to each other as well. Then we started doing monthly Mindfulness sessions as conference calls and these became quite popular. These have carried on and the number of patients attending has increased. We also do 1-2-1 over the phone sessions now.

 

Two of our volunteer therapists kindly offered to do distance reiki sessions for our patients, these have proven to be very popular too.

 

Throughout all this members of our team also trained to do the Covid-19 testing in our Pepperell Education Centre and continue to do this still now.

 

Adapting to the new normal

 

Thankfully normality is slowly beginning to resume now. We are able to start inviting our patients to attend out-patient appointments again. Planning for groups is also in progress, which we are all very excited about.

 

As a team, we realised that many of the Hospice staff have been working from home, or working from a desk where they may normally have been out and about. Gyms have been closed for many months and we have sadly not had the physical or social stimulation we used to have. So we came up with the idea of ‘Frankie’s 5’, whereby staff and volunteers can sign up, pay 5 pounds and do 3 exercise sessions per week, one mindfulness session, and have one pamper session for themselves.

 

So far it seems to have received a good response and those that have signed up are enjoying it. Hopefully the staff members will benefit while we raise much needed funds for our hospice.

 

How you can support us

 

Funding for the Hospice has been disrupted by the pandemic. You can help by donating to our Spring Appeal. Click here to find out more. 

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