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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2023

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  • Mswa
  • Neurological
  • Ndis
  • Occupational
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  • Albany
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  • Supported
  • Autumn
  • Mswaorgau
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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY LYING DOWN ON THE JOB: SUPPORTED LYING WITH MSWA OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS NEW SERVICE ALERT! TAKING BACK TEMPERATURE CONTROL Gravity works every minute of every day. Humans are instinctively driven to alter their posture to offset its relentless force. Uncomfortable from sitting in an office chair too long? We adjust our backrest, take a stroll to the coffee machine and even participate in questionable ‘office yoga’. Ever woken up in the middle of the night and found yourself on a different side of the bed to where you started? Some repositioning is so subconscious, we even do it in our sleep! The individuals with no mobility concerns are afforded the privilege of constant and autonomous postural variation to achieve optimal comfort, avoid pain and prevent injury. However, for some individuals, regular or independent movement isn’t always possible. This is when gravity seizes its opportunity. The bad news? Without intervention, these destructive body postures can become fixed and impact the musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory and digestive systems. Additionally, altered postures can impact functional tasks such as toileting, dressing and communication, as well as affect sensory perception, self-image, learning, sleep and mood. The good news? The body is a mobile structure, so whilst it is susceptible to distortion, with the correct positioning, it can be restored to its most neutral position or prevent destructive postures from worsening. Therefore, supporting the body in symmetrical lying (preferably on the back) is vital for those individuals who would otherwise be left to become static in destructive lying postures. What is Supported Lying? ‘Supported Lying’ (often termed 24-hour positioning or sleep positioning) can be defined as postural care which is gentle and respectful in order to protect and restore a person’s body shape against the forces of gravity. If Clients are left unsupported over a period of time, it can lead to destructive body postures. RACHEL KARSAKIS, CAITLIN ROSS AND SAM WARNE, MSWA OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST SUPPORTED LYING CONSULTANTS How can MSWA Occupational Therapists help? Occupational therapists use a multi-disciplinary approach and consider a person’s daily life across the full 24 hours. At MSWA, OTs follow their Clients through their journey and assist them in maintaining functional independence. Clients can be supported in a great seating system with postural supports which consider alignment, pressure and function. However, the duration of time spent in bed far outweighs time spent in seating systems. It should be considered that if a Client has these supports in sitting, they may also benefit from supported lying. This is a new service offered by the MSWA Occupational Therapy department. Once referred, the Supported Lying OT team will: / Complete a review and assessment / Determine suitability for the service / Understand why/how a Client’s postures impacts their body / Create customised intervention plans recommending equipment and positioning techniques / Provide comprehensive training and education for implementation of supported lying systems to family and support workers / Provide ongoing education, review and follow-up Ask your MSWA Occupational Therapist today about how we can support you with supported lying. We look forward to assisting more of our Clients to combat the effects of gravity! Do you experience thermoregulatory dysfunction or difficulty regulating body temperature, especially in those hot summer or cool winter months? This is a very common symptom in neurological conditions and we have developed a new group to help! The Thermoregulation Management Workshop will run quarterly, providing education around how your body responds to temperatures. The workshop is specifically tailored to thermoregulation related to neurological conditions, the effects and impact of thermoregulation and strategies to help, delivered by our Occupational Therapists. We also specifically discuss low-cost and mid-cost assistive technology which can aid with thermoregulation management. Additionally, we discuss NDIS funding, and other major funding streams, and how this can be used to access thermoregulation support. This group is designed to be an interactive experience and we will have some assistive technology options available for you to trial/ experience on the day. We will also identify where you will need further support from your Occupational Therapist in securing funding. Groups will be run in our Wilson and Butler facilities as well as via Telehealth sessions. Our next thermoregulation group will take place in our Butler facility on 19 July 2023 from 9am – 12pm. We are also looking to expand our small groups to cover additional topics, such as: low level assistive technology, sleep, cognitive strategies and pain management. KEY DETAILS: Date: Time: Location: RSVP: Wednesday, 19 July 9am – 12pm We also provide light morning refreshments and lots of laughter! We look forward to seeing you soon. SARAH COUTINHO MSWA OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST MSWA Butler 245 Butler Blvd, Butler If you are interested in attending one of our interactive groups, please call the Occupational Therapy contact line on 9365 4854 or email us on From there, one of our Occupational Therapy Assistants will get in contact and discuss further details. Visit for more information. 14 15