A balanced approach

Posted on 20 August 2019

THERAPY: North West Community Rehab Occupational Therapist Louise Massie with students Kaitlan O’Connell and Carla Littlefield. Photo: Derek BarryWithnational Occupational Therapy week in full swing, it was an appropriate time to check the occupational therapy services offered by James Cook University at Mount Isa’s Centre for Rural and Remote Health.

North West Community Rehab occupational therapist Louise Massie said the idea of Occupational Therapy week was promote the idea of what occupational therapists can do for people in the community.

“We have a slogan which is ‘reach your potential’,” Ms Massie said.

“At North West Community Rehab we mainly deal with people who have neurological conditions, so for instancepeople with brain injuries who might have had a stroke, or Parkinson’s Disease.”

But the service wasn’t just limited to neurological conditions.

“So we might have people trouble walking around and they want to get back out participating in the community,” Ms Massie said.

The service has recently expanded from ten weeks twice a year to being a full time occupational therapy, physiotherapy and allied health assistance.

“We’re a student led service with students who come out twice a year to run programs and service,” Ms Massie said.

Townsville-based students Kaitlan O’Connell and Carla Littlefield are currently out on seven-week placements to lead the service.

“We help people with injuries or disabilities where they are having trouble with their day to day activities,” Kaitlan said.

“We help them become more independent.”

Carla said they helped people across the whole life span from the young to the elderly in a variety of programs.

“We’ve got a balance mobility program, we’ve got an upper limb program and we also have an everyday activities program,” she said.

Ms Massie said anyone could get referred to the service.“People can do a self-referral or any health professional in the community or any health services can refer the,” she said.

“They just need a GP clearance so they are able to participate in the program.”

Goals is a big focus.

“We’ve got a lady with balance issues who wants to get back to line dancing.”

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