How can a person-centred approach to occupational therapy practice in the community enhance independence for people living with complex neurological presentations?
Neurological long-term conditions refer to a group of neurological disorders with varying life expectancies, which show gradual deterioration, ultimately leading to death (NHS England, 2019). Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease (MND), Parkinson's disease and multisystem atrophy are examples of conditions that fall under this category (NHS England, 2019). These disorders are characterised by gradually deteriorating function, increasing care needs and varying levels of functional dependence. A multidisciplinary, palliative care team approach is recommended for managing the care needs of people who have terminal disease (Høgdal et al, 2020). According to an NHS England paper, neurological conditions consume about 14% of the social care budget, with most deaths likely to occur prematurely. People with neurological conditions have the lowest health-related quality of life compared to any long-term condition and experience severe mental and psychological burden (NHS England, 2019). Moreover, if the condition involves gradually deteriorating functional ability, planning ahead to maintain independence at different stages of the disease trajectory can be very difficult.
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