Background Patients are living longer with a range of life limiting illnesses, the Wellbeing Service have adapted the Day Hospice education programme, and created with the assistance of a volunteer photographer a series of DVDs to help maximise patient’s quality of life. Patients can access these free on discharge to enable on-going support at home.
Method The DVDs provide a visual and audio holistic ‘tool box’ of self-help techniques to reinforce self-management of common symptoms experienced by palliative patients. An audit from the education programme identified the following as key areas for support; breathlessness management, anxiety management, fatigue and mobility.
Topics on the DVDs include:
Results The DVDs may help patients to review and recap skills and coping strategies learnt within wellbeing services. They reinforce self-management of symptoms to support and empower patients with their own well-being thus maximising quality of life.
Benefits The DVDs:
continue to provide reassurance and support at home following discharge
may increase time between referrals back to service
continue to empower and guide patients with their self-care
may help carers to provide additional support to their loved ones’ care, by increasing their knowledge and raising their awareness of strategies that patients can use to self-manage their symptoms
provide a very good visual aid - especially to those that are hard of hearing. It may also be especially helpfully for patients that have short-term memory or impaired cognition.
Conclusions The DVDs provide on-going support post discharge for both the patient and their carers through the application of the techniques learnt at day hospice whilst in the comfort of their own home.
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