Marathon Health occupational therapists show lockdowns are no barrier
Image: Marathon Health OTs on outreach
COVID restrictions and lockdowns have made it hard for people requiring occupational therapy to continue to receive equipment, however Marathon Health has continued to ensure occupational therapy participants receive necessary equipment, regardless of setbacks.
Mandy Colless, Marathon Health Occupational Therapist, worked with a client based in a remote community more than 300km from Dubbo to assist him to get a power wheelchair. The client, who had had limited engagement in activities and the local community for several years due to mobility limitations, was still able to receive their prescribed power wheelchair during lockdown.
“Delivery of the power wheelchair was scheduled during the COVID lockdown, which was to involve a face-to-face visit, training and education about the new chair. However, restrictions meant this could not occur so we worked with the client and nurses to discuss how to overcome this issue.
The wheelchair was still delivered and the training and education occurred daily using Facetime over a period of weeks. This daily support resulted in a positive outcome and the client is now planning to access the community soon. The client and his support worker plan to purchase a coffee from the local coffee shop. He has not stopped smiling,” Ms Colless said.
Alli Sykes, Marathon Health Discipline Lead – Occupational Therapy, says this shows the importance of working with the client to understand their individual circumstances, goals and the environment in which they live to overcome significant barriers such as lockdown.
“Not being able to physically go out to assist a client with learning to use a power wheelchair and other equipment can be challenging. But what we have found is that there are more ways than one to assist, and that travel restrictions and lockdowns need not be a barrier if the appropriate supports are in place.
It’s so rewarding supporting clients to achieve goals and engaging with their communities, even when faced with these restrictions,” Ms Sykes said.
Find out more about our occupational therapy services.