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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2020

A fresh look for NDIS support We’re all in this together – a message from our CEO Myth busting the stigma of attending counselling Food matters

DIETETICS FOOD MATTERS

DIETETICS FOOD MATTERS PAMELA WINDRAM MANAGER SPEECH PATHOLOGY & DIETETICS Have you either lost or gained any weight unintentionally? Do you have a PEG tube or take nutritional supplements (eg drinks or puddings)? Have you found that your mobility and/or strength have declined? Does your fatigue prevent you from attending appointments / working / doing enjoyable activities? Are you on a texture modified diet and/or thickened fluids? Do you have a poor appetite? Do you have any symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation or reflux? Do you have diabetes? Have you had previous pressure injuries? If you have answered ‘Yes’ or ‘Not sure’ to any of these questions you may need to see one of MSWA’s dietitians. Living with a neurological condition such as MS may present challenges to getting a well-balanced diet. You may find it difficult to get adequate nutrients to sustain your energy levels throughout the day. Good nutrition is even more important when you are feeling unwell. At MSWA our dietitians work with you to assess your nutritional needs and tailor dietary advice and information to suit those needs. If you have specific dietary needs caused by other chronic conditions such as diabetes, a dietitian’s advice is invaluable. Many people with neurological conditions have difficulty receiving adequate nutrition through eating and drinking normally. Some may need special nutritional supplements or be fed via a feeding tube using specially formulated liquid feed. Dietitians can determine how much feed an individual requires and can assist in trouble-shooting any issues that may occur. Accessing a dietitian for your disability-related health condition and supports (including equipment and consumables) is now possible under the NDIS. To speak to one of our dietitians, please contact us at dt.referrals@mswa.org.au or call 6454 2860. Pamela Windram commenced employment at MSWA in June 2019 as Manager of Speech Pathology and Dietetics after working for a significant period in the aged care sector. Prior to that she worked with clients with acquired brain injuries. Pamela has an interest in the augmentative communication devices which provide considerable assistance to those with neurological difficulties who find communication difficult. The advancements currently taking place in this sector are enabling clients to experience communicative autonomy, possibly for the first time in years. Pamela is fortunate to work with a team of passionate speech pathologists and Dietitians who are dedicated to providing the most current evidencebased support to all their Customers. 16

INDIVIDUAL OPTIONS KINDNESS OF HEART MAKES FOR AN IDEAL CARE SUPPORT WORKER There are many distinct qualities a person needs to have to be a Care Support Worker, including compassion and kindness, patience and energy, as well as not being afraid of hard work. MSWA Care Support Worker, Bonface Ndungu, with Michael and Mariana Cuza. Bonface Ndungu, a Care Support Worker for MSWA, has these traits in abundance. “The job isn’t for everyone,” Bonface said. “But for some of us, it’s a perfect fit.” Bonface and his Care Support Worker colleagues at MSWA help Customers with a variety of tasks at their homes including cooking, shopping, personal care, cleaning and laundry. “Anything that a Customer might need done around the house, I can do for them. Plus, I can proudly say that I’m a very good cook!” Another vital component to the job is organising social activities for Customers who may otherwise be on their own. “Sometimes we go to the movies, watch sport on TV, go for a walk in the park or simply have a cup of coffee and a chat. “These things are so much more enjoyable when you can do it with someone else.” Bonface has been with MSWA for three years but has spent 10 years in the business of caring for others. “I worked in aged care for many years and I really believe in saying thank you to the older generation; to give back to those who looked after us,” Bonface said. “Working with people who live with a neurological condition is similar in that I feel it’s a real privilege to help people who aren’t always able to take care of themselves.” There are, of course, challenges when you are a Care Support Worker, as some Customers may have communication difficulties and it’s often quite physically demanding. “Some Customers are non-verbal, so you need to work out a way to communicate effectively. I find out ways to hear their stories to help me understand what makes them happy and motivates them. “I also enjoy making people smile – it’s important to have fun as much as possible.” Many Care Support Workers have specialised training and Bonface is currently finishing his Certificate IV in Disability, hoping to progress his career as a team leader or coordinator. “I love working at MSWA. It is such a fulfilling, rewarding role. “It’s always important to remember that no one asks to have a neurological condition and that our Customers want to be treated in the same way as everyone else – with kindness, compassion and respect.” If you would like to find out more about MSWA’s In-home Care Support Service, please visit mswa.org.au/support-services/inhome-care 17

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