Spring is a brilliant time to visit the Midwest region of Western Australia and I was lucky enough to do just that as part of ILC’s Country Services.
Hi, my name is Rachel; I’m the Occupational Therapist at the ILC who covers the Midwest region, from Exmouth in the north to Leeman in the south and Meekathara in the east. This involves travelling to various towns throughout the year, providing services to guide people’s choices regarding assistive technology and services for independence and wellbeing.
I travelled to Northampton, Geraldton and Mingenew in September for a trip that was busy and varied. The first event was the Northampton Agricultural Show. Set up in the “shearing shed” alongside craft stalls and other organisations, the vibrant display attracted many attendees. This included local farmers, families visiting from Geraldton as well as travellers passing through the region to enjoy the spectacular weather and wildflowers. Visiting small country towns like Northampton enables me to reach people who may otherwise not gain the assistance they require.
I then continued on to Geraldton, where the next three days were non-stop! All the appointments had been requested by individuals and organisations prior to my trip, which enabled me to bring a range of items specific to their needs . This is a snapshot of the time and an indication of the services that can be offered in future trips:
Day 1: started with a visit to a Geraldton HACC group to provide seniors with information on a range of equipment. They were a very receptive group who loved seeing the 4-wheeled-walker that can convert into a wheelchair. I then met with Education Assistants to discuss the range of training and information sessions that the ILC can offer. The last appointment of the day was with a client at a residential facility to provide advice on options to mount a communication device to her wheelchair. A suitable mount was found and it is hoped this will enable her to communicate her needs to staff and socialise with other residents.
Day 2: my day commenced with a visit to a Primary School to provide advice on ramps, to ensure the school is accessible for all students. This was followed by a home visit to see a client to discuss personal alarm options for safety in the home. The final appointment was to show different bathing equipment to a family with a young child. As I had brought a range of products with me from ILC Hire, the family were able to hire the items straight away, enabling quick and easy access to a product that met their needs.
Day 3: for the first half of the day I set up at the QEII Centre, where I was inundated with people seeking information and advice on topics from home modifications to kitchen aids. I then spent the afternoon running an information session for local Occupational Therapists, updating them on the many new paediatric products available.
Each day I also met with local suppliers to discuss what services and products they provide and to inform them of the ILC National Equipment Database which people can use to find equipment and suppliers in their local areas. Keeping this as up-to date and accurate as possible is a priority of mine, to ensure people in the Midwest can access items as easily as possible.
The final two days of my trip I spent as an exhibitor at the Mingenew Expo. People from throughout the Midwest region and beyond flock to this great event each year, and ILC is proud to have been involved for a number of years. A highlight of 2014 was the ILC Free Raffle, which was won by Simone Hancock from Geraldton. Congratulations Simone!
The prize consisted of a fantastic array of small aids including electric can openers, jar openers, sock donner, shoe horn, tap turner and much more.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Midwest and am already eagerly planning the next for early 2015. If you are interested in an individual appointment, group presentation, training or have any other requests, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate these during future visits.
I would like to emphasise that you also don’t have to wait for ILC to visit your region before you seek assistance. We offer information and advice via email and telephone, as well as Skype and Video Conferencing.
We look forward to hearing from you!