Today marks the beginning of Occupational Therapy (OT Week) (Monday 21 – Sunday 27 October), where we recognise and celebrate the important role OTs play in helping people with vision or sensory impairment get the most out of their life.
At Guide Dogs, we offer Occupational Therapy (OT) services to people of all ages living with vision impairment to increase their independence, confidence and safety in their daily living activities.
It’s this improved independence and confidence our client Janette enjoys every day, achieved with the help of our OT services.
Janette was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma shortly before last Christmas.
Faced with the option of daunting eye surgery and the prospect of losing her sight completely within three years, Janette chose Guide Dogs as her service provider following an assessment for a Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) through My Aged Care.
After meeting with one of our OTs, Tori, Janette says the quality and efficiency of the support she received through Guide Dogs enabled her to feel less stressed about her condition and more confident to be independent the future.
“It seemed that whatever I was panicking about, Tori would calmly set out the options Guide Dogs had to help me with this problem. In this manner, over and over, her visits calmed my fears to a much more manageable level,” she says.
“Now I know without a doubt, with the help of Guide Dogs I will move forward with confidence. Thank you Tori and Guide Dogs from the bottom of my heart!” – Janette, Vision Services client
Our friendly and qualified OTs provide clinic or community-based services to help our clients develop a range of skills including:
- Communication skills – using the telephone, computer, reading, writing, and signing documents
- Community skills – shopping, banking, using an ATM and identifying coins and notes
- Personal care skills – personal hygiene, grooming, dressing (including identifying clothes)
- Domestic task skills – meal planning and preparation, laundry and cleaning
- Home safety and environmental recommendations – advice about safety in the home, trip hazards, home modifications and using contrasting to complete tasks
- Transition from school/study and life skills
- Education and training on adaptive equipment – aids to assist easier completion of tasks, e.g. timekeeping aids, such as talking and large print watches
- Vision advice – for clients, staff, families and other community members, for hospital therapists completing home safety recommendations regarding safe discharge
- Falls prevention assessments and intervention
- Lighting assessment – recommendations provided to maximise vision with advice about best type and amount of lighting.