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Meet green-fingered physiotherapist, Trish, whose idea of perfect happiness is picking and cooking veggies from her garden after a long dog walk. Trish joined the Therapy Team three years ago and says her role is “to ensure that people living with life-limiting illnesses have greater independence and an enhanced quality of life.”
For Trish, being a physiotherapist is all about going the extra mile and she says “there’s nothing more rewarding than supporting patients and families to achieve their goals.”
“The simplest of activities that we take for granted is what some of our patients miss most in their lives,” explains Trish. “For example, providing the right equipment can enable patients to get out and about, reducing their dependence on carers and giving them a greater sense of control.”
“I work with patients to create exercise programmes to improve muscle strength and mobility as well as providing breathing exercises to help with respiratory disease and breathlessness. With the right exercises and equipment, people are able to embrace the small things like sitting out in their gardens, walking their dog or pursuing their hobbies. Recently, we even enabled a lady to get back on her horse.”
Physiotherapy has remained a priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis and the Therapy Team at St Barnabas have been working hard to ensure they can continue to support the people who need them. “We have still managed to see our patients at the hospice and at home right through the crisis,” says Trish. “Our patients and families are very complementary that we have been able to continue without too much disruption and although some of our group sessions have been stopped, we are still keeping in contact with everyone.”
Trish says the most important lesson she’s been taught in life and since working in palliative care is “life is a gift, so treat it as something very special.”