The hospice recently underwent an extension and refurbishment to its day unit, which included building a brand new therapy gym – four times the size of the old one.
The gym features equipment including a treadmill, cross-trainer, core-balancer, numerous hand-held weights, upper limb and lower limb bicycle, fit balls, therapy bed, parallel walking bars and full coverage ceiling track hoist.
The vast space of the gym and the new equipment has allowed staff at the Hospice to start running more weekly exercise groups than ever before, from circuit groups and relaxation classes to easy breathing and exercise groups – as well as having open gym sessions – and patients are benefitting hugely from them.
Steve Whight has been visiting Day Care at the Hospice in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, for a couple of months and is finding that by taking part in the circuit exercise group every week, he is beginning to build the strength up that he had lost in his body.
Mr Whight, of Ipswich, said: “I come to the gym every Monday and it has helped me tremendously – I am even finding it easier to breathe.
“The exercise and relaxation groups they run have both been brilliant and helped me such a lot.”
The hospice has a team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists who work with patients in groups or one-to-one to build their strength, improve quality of life and maintain independence, so they can remain at home for as long as possible.
The therapy team see patients throughout their care at the Hospice, whether it’s at home, in day care, as an outpatient, or on the Inpatient Unit.
Hanna McDowell, St Elizabeth Hospice’s therapy team manager, said: “We are so lucky to have such fantastic facilities that allow us to offer numerous classes every week – and it’s wonderful to see so many patients benefitting from the extra classes and support we are now able to offer.
“We see the majority of our patients in the community, and many of them are reluctant to come into the Hospice. They often think – like a lot of people do – that if they come in, they won’t go home again, but that is not the case.
“That’s where the gym has proved advantageous, as we have been using the facilities as a way to refer patients into the Hospice. The gym has a separate entrance to the main Hospice, so patients don’t feel like they’re coming to the hospice, they’re just coming for rehabilitation – and whilst they’re waiting to go home, they sit in the day unit with other patients and they’re able to see for themselves what the hospice is really like, and that it’s not a scary place.”
If you think you could benefit from the care and support of St Elizabeth Hospice, talk to your GP or district nurse, or click here.