How equipment can assist people to manage at home as end of life approaches
MVP4P is lucky to have an Occupational Therapist as a member of our Executive Committee. Linda Walters is an Occupational Therapist and advises on purchases of equipment requested by hospital and community Palliative Care teams. Here, Linda has given us an insight to her work. Occupational Therapists treat a range of patients, including those in palliative care, through the use of everyday activities. They can recommend equipment which makes everyday activities easier and safer for patients and carers.
Many people would prefer to stay at home as they age or have a life limiting illness. Often carers are not confident to care for patients at home due to a lack of their own physical strength. Look at the list of equipment below which an Occupational Therapist may use. Would any of this equipment be useful for your situation?
Changes in function are difficult to predict and can occur suddenly, so having access to what you need, when you need it can make the difference between managing and not managing day by day. Generally, people approaching end of life and being cared for at home can access the supports they need through referral to a Palliative Care Service. These services keep a pool of equipment which can be provided on loan at little or no cost for as long as needed.
The equipment that can play an important role can be basic or more specialised, for example:
- A urinal for night use
- Simple portable rubber wedges to ramp a small lip from one floor surface to another, or a larger folding aluminium ramp for steps and kerbs.
- A bench seat to bridge over a shower hob
- A shower stool
- A toilet frame
- Slide sheets to help easily move a person in bed
- A portable oxygen concentrator: take oxygen therapy where ever is needed
- A mobile shower chair/commode seat
- A folding manual wheelchair
- A lifting hoist and sling: for safely moving a non-weight-bearing/non-ambulant person
- A home hospital bed: has powered functions to help with positioning and provision of care
- A pressure care mattress or cushion: for prevention of pressure sores
- A powered recliner/lift chair
Manning Valley Push 4 Palliative is committed to raising funds, through events and donations, to provide equipment which is used in the local hospital and community settings, to support palliative care needs in the Manning.