More New Zealanders will benefit from tailored exercise rehab, nutrition advice, pain management, fatigue management and return to work support.
Active+, one of the country’s only 100% Kiwi owned physiotherapy and rehabilitation networks, has extended its cancer rehab services so even more patients can access crucial rehabilitation as part of their recovery.
Until recently, its BOOST program, which takes a holistic approach to cancer rehabilitation to cover all aspects of returning to normal life activities has only been available through insurance providers. However, it can now be funded privately. This means that even more Kiwis will be able to benefit from a BOOST care plan, which can include tailored exercise rehabilitation, nutrition advice, pain management, fatigue management and return to work support.
BOOST is a collaboration between Active+ and the PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation, a registered New Zealand charitable trust that works to improve the quality of life of those with cancer.
Active+ director, Andy Schmidt, explains:
“We have seen first-hand just how significantly cancer rehab can improve a person’s quality of life, reduce risk of re-occurrence, and improve strength and cardiovascular capacity while reducing mental health issues.
This is so important for cancer patients because, aside from the cancer and cancer treatment, they can suffer from secondary issues such as weight gain or loss, cardiac problems, depression, anxiety. A thoughtful rehabilitation plan that includes exercise and emotional support can improve all of these things.”
“We decided to make BOOST available privately, as well as through insurers, to allow even more New Zealanders access to a service that has had a profoundly positive impact on many cancer survivors and their families,” adds Andy. “We would really like to see more people walking through our doors and seeking help and support following a diagnosis, rather than feeling like they have to go it alone.”
Andy says – alongside making services as accessible as possible – education and awareness is also important. He notes that many New Zealanders still don’t realise how many rehab services are available and how valuable they can be.
“If people don't undergo rehabilitation following a cancer diagnosis it can seriously affect their ability to work, their relationships, their physical, emotional and social wellbeing, and their long-term health. It’s vital that we continue to highlight the importance of rehab and that there are a number of affordable (sometimes funded, if you’re struggling financially), very accessible services that New Zealanders can benefit from.”
When they start on a BOOST care plan, the patient meets with an accredited cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist who completes an initial assessment and advises on the best approach. Together, the patient and physiotherapist develop their care plan including services that will help ‘boost’ the person’s recovery. A number of other professionals may also be involved, including an occupational therapist, psychologist, dietitian, and career counsellor/vocational consultant.
PINC & STEEL provides support to people affected by cancer, helping them take their first steps on the road to recovery. They have been training medical professionals in cancer rehabilitation for two decades.
As well as individual cancer rehabilitation programmes, in some areas Active+ also offers PaddleOn stand up paddle boarding rehab classes, and Next Steps circuit fitness classes. They also have qualified Lymphedema Therapists, who help to control this problem through exercises, lymphedema massage, compressing garments, and specialised wrapping and taping of the affected body part.
All services can be privately funded, or depending on individual circumstances, may be able to be funded through the PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehab Foundation or through private medical insurance.
Learn more about Active+ here.