Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapists enable patients to maximize independence and dignity, helping patients and their carer to develop coping skills and strategies that can assist in managing a changing physical status as disease progresses.

A person’s sense of well-being is dependent
on many factors such as:

• Control of symptoms
• Level of independence
• Functional ability
• Ability to communicate
• Psychological and emotional state
• Degree of self-confidence and self-esteem
• Ability to cope

Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Physiotherapist can help patients set goals formulated around what is important for them to achieve.  Whilst helping people to adapt to their changing condition.


This involves:

Carrying out an holistic assessment – to identify factors impacting on a patient’s ability to function.

Carrying palliative rehabilitation – to optimise a person’s mobility and functioning.

Educating and teaching symptom management techniques- for breathlessness, fatigue, pain, lymphoedema, anxiety. This may include personalised exercise prescription, manual treatments, provision of equipment and aids.

Educating and enabling self-management- to empower patients and carers to maintain function and participation in meaningful activities.

Carrying out risk assessment – including comprehensive evaluation of patients’ safety to manage functional activities, recommendations to activity modification, use of equipment and aids.

Planning ahead for “good” and “bad” days – to help patients and their families to proactively plan, anticipate and adapt to potential functional decline in advancing illness.

The physiotherapist at Hospice of the Valleys runs regular outpatient clinics. Alternatively, patients may be seen in their own homes, if they are unable to attend the hospice. If you would like to be referred to physiotherapy please discuss this with your Hospice of the Valley team member.

Alice Dawson
Specialist Palliative Care Physiotherapist

Festival Drive, Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent NP23 8XF T: 01495 717277 © 2016. Hospice of the Valleys is a registered charity in England and Wales (no 517724)