Minutes CT May 2017

Speaker : Jolene Wium : Physiotherapist


Jolene is a physiotherapist specialising in spinal injuries.


She had a presentation entitled “Physiotherapy in Huntungtons Patients”

Discussion on differences in the roles played by Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists for Huningtons patients.


Is Physiotherapy effective in Huntingtons patients: Yes :


There are 4 phases in the aims of the Physiotherapists, depending on the severity of the condition.
Phase 1: Early stage : Establishing a base level of stability , balance and strength.
Phase 2: Early to mid stage : Keeping the patient mobile , maintain level of fitness and strength. Adapt the environment to the patient.
Phase 3: Mid to late phase : Safety is a priority : assistance devices such as wheelchair , walker . Suggest a home visit to establish what needs to change to enable the patient to function as best as possible.
Phase 4 : Late phase : Emphasis on the carer/ nursing staff : Showing the carer positioning , lifting , bed exercise program , lung functioning and breathing exercises.
Jolene demonstrated using Bernie as a willing model on “clearing the lungs” by shaking, patting, inducing coughing which helps to loosen the phlegm. Methods to deep breathing, and moving from chair to bed.


Emphasis was on the Physio and the gross motor movements to adapt the patient to the environment.


The Occupational therapist would have an emphasis on adapting the environment to the patient.
Emphasis on finding a centre with a multidisciplinary approach such as a gym….would be ideal such as
*Sports Science centre; * Life Rehab at Vincent Palotti ; * Western Cape Rehab centre
What to expect at a rehab centre : Base level evaluation for strength , fitness ,balance and endurance all relating to functionality and life style.

It was a wonderfully lively meeting and very informative.
Jenny Selfe