Studies have suggested that engagement in a programme of exercise is beneficial for people living with Multiple Scelrosis (MS). There is evidence of improvements in mobility, overall health and the management of some symptoms such as fatigue, muscle stiffness, anxiety and depression.
St Giles Hospice has been working to develop it’s provision of Supportive Care, working with community partners to meet the needs of those affected by a life limiting illness who have previously not easily accessed hospice services.
A 12 week pilot exercise and support programme was undertaken working in collaboration with a community based exercise facilitator, and local NHS MS services.
promote and maintain independence
improve muscle strength, flexibility, mobility and activity
provide a supportive environment
introduce patients to hospice support
The exercise class was set to music, using a range of equipment, most participants began from a seated position, with encouragement to stand if appropriate, there was focus on improving strength, stamina, mobility, co-ordination, balance, flexibility and confidence
9 people attended, aged between 43 and 77
Overall attendance = 75%, 83 out of 111 possible attendances
Evaluation: participants recorded sit to stand from their chair as a measure of leg strength at the beginning and end of the course.
The results showed significant improvement in all participants demonstrating a tangible increase in leg strength and technique. Being able to quantify their own progress boosted self-esteem, Participants reported significant social and supportive benefits to attending.
The hospice has engaged in dialogue with commissioners to support this work. We have engaged with other MS patients, their carers and NHS staff to promote the benefits of the programme. We have engaged in dialogue with the patients who have attended and work with them to provide a maintenance programme.
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