My name is Minna; I’m an Occupational Therapist in the Assistive Technology Services Team. I cover the Midwest region of WA as part of ILC’s country service. I love visiting regional areas and providing a service that gives people who live outside the metropolitan area an opportunity to access information and advice on equipment that can help them to live independently.
This was my first trip with ILC to this area. I completed a twelve day trip in early August. I was very excited to visit this beautiful region and to visit the towns and meet people residing there. It was a jam-packed visit where each day was filled with lots of things from morning to night.
We started by driving up the coast and visited Jurien Bay, Geraldton, Northampton and Kalbarri and then drove inland to Morawa, attended the Mingenew Expo, and made our first appearance at the Perenjori Show.
We had a lovely group of people join us at the Jurien Bay Community Resource Centre where we discussed lots of different equipment such including items such as the Uccello Kettle and the TabTimer Med-e-lert Pill Dispenser. There was also interest in making the bathroom safer; we brainstormed options such as installing grab bars and adding a nonslip mat to the shower.
On the second and third day things were very busy. We visited the Northampton Day Centre and the Kalbarri Senior Citizens Group. There was a great turn out and enthusiasm about ILC’s service and people enjoyed trialing of different pieces of assistive equipment such as the TravelScoot and the Uplift cushion. At the senior’s group we were lucky enough to celebrate a few birthdays of members on the day with two members turning 84 and 85 and another member turning 68!
We spent time in Geraldton meeting members of the public by meeting with a retirement village, the Geraldton Hospital Day Centre and at the Queen Elizabeth II Community Centre. At our set up at the QEII Centre where we had over 80 people see us in one morning! Wow, we were busy. There were many different enquiries from folding walking sticks to take traveling, to following up on the progress of vehicle modifications that a gentleman was having funded through the ILC’s Grant’s Team. If anyone has queries about their eligibility please call 1300 885 886.
One day in Geraldton we visited people in their homes and looked at different equipment that would greatly improve their independence with tasks in their daily lives. In these visits we worked with people and their families, Occupational Therapists from the hospital and caregivers. We looked at equipment to increase independence with food preparation, feeding and bathing such as bath seats, tap turners, angled cutlery, cups with handles and a food processor. We also brought a variety of paediatric walkers such as the Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer for a young boy in one of the towns we visited so that he could trial with his Physiotherapist, instead of having to come down to Perth. We also met with service providers in Geraldton at the Lotteries House.
Then we drove inland and had two busy days at the Mingenew Expo with lots of enquires from people in the surrounding areas (Mingenew, Geraldton, Dongara, Morawa, Perenjori, Three Springs and Carnamah). People enquired about a range of topics such as general information about the ILC services, where to buy a specific piece of equipment and what type of equipment could help them to complete certain tasks more easily. We met people who were interested to know if there was equipment available to assist them to complete a range of tasks from big light switches, alarming pill boxes and scooters. The electric powered wheelchair we had with us gained some interest from farmers and people also wanting to use it in their back yards to make heavy tasks easier.
We then moved on to Morawa and the lovely folks at the Community Resource Centre let us set up outside their entrance. We were able to chat to lots of people and the rain held off too!
On the final day we attended the Perenjori Agricultural Show. We met members of the public, service providers and caregivers and were able to provide them with information they needed. A highlight of our day was meeting Brian and seeing his golf scooter that has been adapted for life on the farm and going over rough terrain. This is perfect for him because he has difficulty with walking long distances now, but he can still maintain the life tasks he wants to do. It was also pretty good for rounding up sheep! Then we headed back to home base in Nedlands to give the caravan a rest until the next trip!
The trip was very well received and successful and I look forward to the next one.
Our next trip to the Midwest will be to Carnarvon, Denham and Exmouth in November later this year.