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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

COUNSELLING, SPEECH

COUNSELLING, SPEECH PATHOLOGY AND DIETETICS TELEHEALTH AT MSWA To remain connected to our Customers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSWA introduced Telehealth. By utilising telephone and different online platforms we have been able to maintain most services and continued to provide support during the challenging period. Telehealth is a service we will continue to use. TELEHEALTH COUNSELLING ROB ORR – MSWA COUNSELLOR Telehealth counselling is any provision of counselling that does not occur ‘face to face’ with the counsellor and client sitting in the same room. It includes video conferencing solutions such as Skype, Zoom, Webex and FaceTime; phone calls and text; chat and email conversations. At MSWA, our Telehealth service delivery covers one-to-one counselling as well as couples, family and group sessions. There are several advantages of Telehealth counselling. The most obvious advantage currently is reducing the risk of contracting and spreading a contagious illness. COVID-19 has been the main driver, but the flu season is here so there is no better time to embrace this way of receiving services. Other advantages include accessibility, convenience, and anonymity. As Telehealth appointments typically do not require travel, they work well for clients in more remote areas, as well as Customers who have some physical limitations making travel more difficult or time consuming. They can often be scheduled at more convenient times for the same reason. Telehealth also benefits Customers who may have to overcome emotional as well as physical barriers to face-to-face counselling. Some Customers experience anxiety leaving home to attend an in-person appointment, and Telehealth also provides greater ‘invisibility’ compared to an inperson counselling appointment. Customers who have speech difficulties but can type what they want to say can benefit from the alternatives of Telehealth which rely on this medium –- such as text, chat and email. Although some Customers may prefer personal contact, there is a growing body of research showing online counselling can have the same positive impact as face-toface counselling sessions. TELEHEALTH SPEECH PATHOLOGY AND DIETETICS PAMELA WINDRAM – MANAGER SPEECH PATHOLOGY AND DIETETICS During the COVID-19 period, the Speech Pathology and Dietetics department were able to continue to provide services to Customers via Telehealth, with no Customers being disadvantaged by the change in circumstances. Speech pathologists were able to provide support to Customers with dysphagia, voice therapy, language therapy and AAC (augmentative alternative communication) therapy. The dietitians were able to provide assessment and support to Customers with dietary concerns. The speech pathologists were well supported by Speech Pathology Australia during the period, with enormous amounts of support and updates on best practice advice on Telehealth services. We were able to complete a course in assessing and managing dysphagia via Telehealth which was invaluable. We have also completed an 8-week poetry/ voice group to our Customers via telehealth. We will continue to offer therapy over Telehealth as required, especially to those in remote areas with the lessons learnt during the unusual times we experienced. If you are interested in accessing services via Telehealth, please speak to your MSWA allied health professional. 16

MSWA MEMBER I MET A DOG I was heading down the street near my place in my electric wheelchair, when I saw an exceptionally large, shaggy Old English Sheepdog tied to the fence across the road from the newsagency. I’ve been a dog lover all my life and couldn’t resist stopping for a pat and a chat with him. I put out my hand first so he could sniff it and ascertain that I was friendly, then proceeded to pat him and scratch him behind the ears, which he seemed to like. Within a minute or two a gentleman came out of the newsagency and crossed the street to join us. He was the dog’s owner, and introduced himself as David, and the dog as Edward. It turns out the dog’s real name is Malizioso The Flying Dutchman as he is a pedigree show dog, and they always have interesting names, but he is colloquially called Edward. (Malizioso means mischievous in Italian. I can vouch for its appropriateness!) We spoke a few niceties, as you do when you first meet someone, then David asked, “So what is your ailment? Why are you using a wheelchair?" Immediately I was impressed with this gentleman. Over the years I have experienced all sorts of discomfort from other people when they see me in my wheelchair, ranging from not being able to look me in the eye, ignoring me completely, to chatting awkwardly but pretending the chair doesn’t exist. It was so refreshing to have someone come right out and ask me directly about my condition. I explained to him that I have multiple sclerosis, and over the years my legs have been affected and become weaker until I can no longer walk. David asked a few questions, then mentioned that he knew someone who lived in one of MSWA’s high-support residential facilities. Coincidentally I know this person quite well, which gave us another topic of conversation. While we were talking, I continued to pat Edward, then David untied his leash from the fence. Edward promptly attempted to climb onto my knee and lick my face! It was a bit like having a big hairy washing machine climbing onto one’s knee! It was clear I had made a friend. In fact, that day I made two friends, and David and I have continued to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company immensely. I am slowly being educated into the world of show dogs and learning just what a serious business it all is. I grew up on a farm and we had working dogs. Then I left home to study, and built a life of my own. I have nearly always had a dog as a pet, but they have always been mixed breed bitsers, with short hair and few maintenance requirements. I love dogs and have come to love Edward too, and even tolerate his obsession with licking my toes! I am grateful to Edward, because he is the catalyst that has brought a new friend and a new interest into my life. 17