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MSWA Bulletin Winter 2020

  • Text
  • Neurology
  • Conditions
  • Bulletin
  • Pathology
  • Counselling
  • Ndis
  • Telehealth
  • Neurological
  • Outreach
  • Mswa
Telehealth at MSWA, Feedback from Customer survey, Eating mindfully, Research roundup

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PREVENTING FALLS AND TRIPS Falling can be a frightening experience. Many people with neurological conditions are susceptible to falls, which may occur for a number of reasons. An occupational therapist (OT) can work with you to identify some prevention strategies that may assist, including: DE-CLUTTERING It is important to keep walkways clear and be aware of rugs, power cords or other pieces of furniture which may cause tripping hazards. Keep commonly used items within reach, to avoid unnecessary bending or reaching. PERSONAL ALARMS Personal alarms can be worn to ensure that you can contact assistance should you experience a fall. There are many options available including who the alarm contacts and how your wear it. An OT can assist you in finding an alarm that best suits your needs. RAMPS AND RAILS Hazards such as steps, door frames or uneven surfaces can increase your risk of falls. An OT can assess your home environment to see if ramps or rails may be suitable and help you find the most appropriate option. KEEP PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY ACTIVE It is important to keep moving to ensure your legs stay strong and conditioned. Additionally, mental wellness is important in helping you stay alert so that you can identify any potential hazards. Activities such as reading, using brain training apps and social activities can help keep you active and alert. Physiotherapists also play a key role in this area, and OTs will often work alongside your physio to assist with your physical health and mobility. MOBILITY EQUIPMENT If you are experiencing falls regularly, or feeling more unsteady on your feet, you may wish to consider wheeled-mobility aids such as a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. There are many factors to consider when investigating mobility devices. Your OT can work with you to ensure the most suitable device is selected. WHAT TO DO IF YOU EXPERIENCE A FALL Try to remain calm. If you have spoken to an OT before, take a moment to revise your action plan before rising. It is important to keep yourself and those around you safe if you do experience a fall. An OT can provide you with strategies to help you stand from the floor safely. If you would like to discuss these strategies further, please contact the OT department on 9365 4854, and we will work with you to identify the approaches that best suit your needs. REBECCA VAN NOORT MSWA OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST 14

SPEECH PATHOLOGY COMMUNICATING WITH THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY: WHAT’S NEW? Communication is a fundamental human right as declared by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At MSWA Speech Pathology, we whole-heartedly agree with this and strive to ensure that all Customers of MSWA Speech Pathology are provided with best practice advances in all areas of communication. For many of our Customers, as their condition progresses, they start to communicate with AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). As technology has become more advanced, devices have become more sophisticated. We endeavour to ensure that we have the most up-to-date knowledge of these devices to support those who need this technology. We have been fortunate to have Customers receive funding for a NeuroNode device by Control Bionics. The NeuroNode is a wearable switch, which connects via Bluetooth to a computer communication system. The NeuroNode’s sensors sit on the surface of the skin, located on a muscle chosen to be the switch. When the client tenses the muscle, the NeuroNode detects the EMG signal (even if you cannot see the muscle move). The muscles do not need to be functional at optimal levels as the NeuroNode responds to extremely minimal signals. The device uses either scanning or eye gaze coupled with the NeuroNode to deliver access to communication which is easier to use and allegedly less fatiguing than others in the market. Other devices which have also proven effective for our customers are the iPad Pro with head tracking and switch control, and of course eye gaze systems, which are constantly being updated and made more accessible. In addition to using the device to communicate with those in your immediate environment, these devices can be used to send text messages, access Facebook, email, YouTube, navigate the web, and control your environment (eg turn on TV/lights etc). If you want to know more about these remarkable advances in technology, please contact Speech Pathology at MSWA on 9365 4888 or via email: CustomerService@mswa.org.au. PAMELA WINDRAM MANAGER SPEECH PATHOLOGY & DIETETICS 15