Physiotherapy at SeeAbility

Our in-house physiotherapists help people affected by illness and disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education, and advice. Physiotherapy is an evidence-based profession that takes a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. 

We are able to identify problems and challenges the people we support face and help negotiate and solve them. These problems may relate to maintaining mobility, managing pain, preventing future problems or supporting people to get involved in leisure activities or sports.

SeeAbility's physiotherapy team is based in Tadley. From there, hours are split between Heather House — our specialist nursing home for people with juvenile CLN3 (Batten) disease and other complex conditions — and Fir Tree Lodge. Physiotherapy plays a vital role in supporting the people at these services, when a person first moves in they are assessed and a personalised physiotherapy programme is devised.

For people with more complex conditions, strengthening specific muscle groups to enable movement and co-ordination is incredibly important. We also activate and strengthen postural muscles, help to maintain mobility and balance, stretch tight muscles in order to maintain muscle length and range of movement, and improve confidence with specific movements used in daily living.

We are looking at ways to expand our physiotherapy service across our other residential homes and supported living services.

 

Hydrotherapy

We often support people to do special exercises in a warm-water pools. Our physiotherapists, support workers and volunteers help people with range of movement and strength. We generally focus on slow, controlled movements and relaxation.

The exercises are tailored to individual needs, so you can start slowly and gradually build up your strength and flexibility. The extra support that the water provides allows people to do more exercise than normal.

We have a hydrotherapy pool at our Heather House service in Tadley and we support people across our services to have hydrotherapy sessions in the community. Greg lives at our Devon Support Service in Honiton and regularly goes for hydrotherapy sessions with his support worker, Karen, who says:

When I first started taking him swimming Greg asked me 'what's it like to walk?' It brought a tear to my eye. To give him that sensation and say well, 'this is what it's like to walk' — I just think it's amazing.

 

Joanne's story

Joanne (pictured above) has a rare neurological condition called alternating hemiplegia of childhood. This means that she frequently has episodes of weakness and paralysis when she experiences extreme emotions. Because of this, the physiotherapy team at Heather House have to build a very careful gym schedule in order to maintain Joanne's mobility.

Our feet are designed to support weight and to transfer from one place to another. If you’re sitting all the time, your brain thinks you don’t need your feet and they can start losing their range of movement

explains Anna, one of our physiotherapists

The physiotherapy at Heather House enables Joanne to keep as much physical mobility as possible, despite her very complex health needs. Using electric bikes and trampolines to improve Joanne's lower body strength is helping her to keep mobile and maintain those important muscle groups.