What is the difference between disability and ability? In terms of mastering daily living tasks, realising greater independence and enjoying a rich, rewarding life, many limitations and challenges can be overcome or significantly reduced with the use of personally-matched assistive technology (AT).

While this term is often associated with home aids such as ramps and rails, specialised furniture and mobility devices, AT can encompass everything from communication boards and speech production devices to modified bicycles and sporting equipment. AT opens up possibilities.

Our NDIS-registered occupational therapists are experts in assessing each participant’s unique needs, identifying items that can help them to reach their potential, and facilitating the process from application to training in safe, effective use of new devices. AT equals ‘I can’.

If you’re an NDIS participant or carer or friend of someone who has goals that may be realised with the right assistance, we invite you to contact our team or visit our new website for more information on our NDIS services. #keepsoaring

How can you enquire about older loved ones' level of functioning without making them feel that you're questioning their competence? Try these conversation starters from SH's community practitioners.

If you have older loved ones living alone or parents living independently, you may feel 'out of the loop' as to their health, wellbeing and ability to safely execute daily tasks independently. How would you know whether they're coping? Has their health or level of function deteriorated? Do they need more support in daily living? It can be hard to tell from a phone call or FaceTime, either because they may be reluctant to disclose their difficulties or because they may not recognise changes to their own physical or mental function.

To help you to determine your older loved ones’ needs, the occupational therapists from our community division, which covers My Aged Care services, have put together this tip sheet.

What to ask older loved ones:

1. Have you been having any difficulties with getting around your home? Walking up/down steps?

2. Do you need support when getting up/down from chairs/toilet? Getting in/out of bed? Are you able to roll over in bed? Are you able to sit up in bed? Can you safely step into the shower?

3. Are you finding it increasingly difficult to get dressed or to reach down to put on shoes and socks?

4. Are you experiencing pain or fatigue when completing household tasks?

5. Are you having difficulty remembering to do important things? Do you have difficulty concentrating on tasks?

6. Is there any part of your daily routine you would like to make easier?

If you are concerned about a loved one’s level of functioning or safety at home, consider consulting an occupational therapist for advice and recommendations on support services and provisions that can help to maintain independence. 

If you’re a parent in Melbourne, lockdown can be a daily battle of trying to keep the kids entertained while curbing screen time and ensuring that they’re learning and developing critical skills. Suddenly you’re expected to be a teacher, a social companion and playmate, a source of mental stimulation AND a parent?!

The good news is, there are many fun, play-based activities that promote learning and communication skills (hello, multi-tasking). Our children’s occupational therapists are experts in using play to facilitate development and learning. They’ve put together these 5 tips for parents and carers.

1. Play with puzzles

Jigsaws and other puzzle-based games harness and promote skills including strategic thinking, planning and problem-solving and cooperation and turn-taking.

2. Play a game that requires participants to move

(like in this video) which can promote factors such as motor skills, coordination and spatial awareness.

3. Colour in a picture using small crayons

This encourages focus, care and precision to stay inside the lines.

 4. Have children practise tying their shoes

 This may be a standalone activity (consider some fun, coloured or glitter shoe laces to make it fun) or you may turn this into a game, such as incorporating it into an obstacle or adventure activity with a shoe-tying component. If so, make sure that children aren’t running or walking with untied shoes!

5. Play with finger puppets

This can be especially useful for promoting communication skills and encouraging creativity. Encourage children to carry out a dialogue and/or narrative with more than one puppet, either on their own (e.g. one on each hand) or by engaging with another person’s puppets.

If you need more ideas or aren’t sure which activities are helpful or appropriate for children at certain stages, our occupational therapists are happy to share what they know. Ask us in comments! 😊#keepsoaring

Soaring Health acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our services are located.

We honour the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and pay our respects to all Elders, past and present.
Copyright © Soaring Health Pty Ltd 2024. All Rights Reserved.
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