Occupational therapy support enables Barbara to stay where she loves, her home

Barbara and Genna seated side by side and smiling at each otherBarbara Reeve lives at home with her husband on a beautiful block in the south of Perth. One of her passions is pottery, so much so that she has her own pottery shed in the backyard so she can practise her art whenever she likes. Barbara also enjoys cooking, playing mahjong and gardening. For Barbara, her home is where her heart is.

Recently Barbara felt she was becoming unsteady around the home and was having trouble with everyday movements such as sitting down and standing up, walking out the back step to her yard and completing tasks that were once very simple.

To address these concerns, Barbara was referred to the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) and was put in contact with ILC Occupational Therapist Genna.

“I visited Barbara in her home to see how she carried out her everyday tasks. I walked through the entire house with Barbara and spoke to her about her daily activities and what she was finding difficulty with. I was then able to provide recommendations on what would allow her to remain independent, safe and well,” said Genna.

“Some of the solutions included the instalment of rails beside the toilet and shower to make it easier to move from one spot to another, and at the back door to make it easier for Barbara to get to her backyard.

“Barbara also trialled a sock aid to assist her to put her socks on without having to bend down to reach her feet.”

Barbara said the support she received from Genna has increased her confidence and helped her make the decision to stay living in the home she loves.

“I think Genna was absolutely marvellous and she gave me confidence right from the beginning. She walked us right through the house and showed us how she thought things could be better for us.

“I love my gardening, I love my pottery. I wouldn’t like to move anywhere else. Genna gave us so much help that it made us decide that okay we can really stay here. We haven’t regretted it for one moment.”

Occupational therapy is a health profession that helps people recover or develop new skills to enable them to engage in their daily activities. The main goal of occupational therapy is to help people become independent.

“As an OT I’m able to provide information and education on ways to manage symptoms people may be experiencing, in addition to providing advice and recommendations on everyday tasks and simple assistive equipment that may benefit a person’s lifestyle,” said Genna.

“Being able to see someone reach their goals every day and feel that I’ve been able to help them achieve that is such a great feeling and it’s why I enjoy my job as much as I do.”

The ILC’s occupational therapists will be at the Care and Ageing Expo on 4 – 5 August at stand 167. Visit the ILC stand to explore a range of assistive equipment, speak to our OTs about how they could support you and pick up your complimentary copy of the Making Choices, Finding Solutions guide. This must-have guide includes simple assistive equipment and home modification options to assist people to remain independent and safe in their own homes as they age.

For further information about the ILC please call 1300 885 886.


New video explains how an occupational therapist could help you

Barbara features in a new video below, released by the ILC this month, that aims to help people to understand how an occupational therapist could support them to achieve their independence, wellness and safety goals.

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