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STROKE WEEK
NEWSLETTER
INDEX
LEARN, INSPIRE AND GROW
Safety in the home after experiencing a Stroke: @Adam shares his thoughts...

The functional and cognitive impacts of a stroke are unique to every person. However, there are common symptoms that manifest depending on the severity and location of the stroke.

Some common symptoms include:
 - Numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
 - Trouble speaking or understanding others
 - Behavioural changes
 - Vision loss, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes
 - Loss of balance or coordination
Energy Conservation
Often the focus initially following a stroke will be on restoring function. However with time, it may be appropriate to compensate for residual changes using assistive technology.

Due to the vast number and severity of symptoms, the range of assistive technology to compensate for these symptoms is abundant. Below are some examples of assistive technology and adaptive devices that can assist a stroke survivor with maintaining their safety and independence around the home and in their community.

Always ensure you consult your Occupational Therapist and/or Physiotherapist when selecting Assistive Technology following Stroke.

Prioritise
Mobility
• Powered wheelchair
• Transit wheelchair
• Four-wheeled walker
• Two-wheeled walker
• Walking stick
Plan
Showering
• Shower chair/ shower stool
• Transfer Bench
• Grab rails
• Long-handled washers
Position
Toileting
• Over-the-toilet frame
• Toilet raisers
• Drop-down arm rests
• Commode 
Pace
Dressing
• Dressing stick
• Button hook
• Long-handled reacher
• Sock aids/ shoe horn
Pace
Meal Preparation
• Tipping kettle
• Adaptive cutlery
• Adaptive chopping board
• Kitchen stool
Pace
Vision and Communication
•Computer software (e.g. speech to text, audible navigation)
• Eye-tracking devices
• Communication boards/ books
CHOICES, CONNECTION AND SUPPORT

For national stroke week we asked "What's your favourite kitchen hack or appliance?"

We heard you. Everyone's favourite is the Thermomix® . However, have you considered or used some of these other kitchen hacks or aids?
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Kitchenware solutions aim to provide independence for cooking and daily kitchen activities. Kitchen aids are designed to help people living with limited mobility conditions using the least amount of movement possible or to aid them with an extra bit of help. There are many assistive technology products to make food preparation easier and safer, allowing individuals to continue to be as independent as possible, including modified food preparation boards, one-handed cans/jars/bottles openers, along with other general kitchen equipment.

There are many electric and manual kitchen appliances available that will aid in daily functioning. The Solutions Centre has a wide range of kitchenware solutions available for trial, listed above and more! Our Solutions Centre is ever growing with new and improved items for you to check out. These modifications can help reduce the physical demand for meal preparation tasks (i.e. chopping, grabbing, peeling and juicing). Portable cooking appliances such as a slow cooker, air fryer or induction cooktop are beneficial for those who have limited capacity to cook and have decreased space. They also are a safer option for cooking, as they tend to turn off automatically and work from a timer. As they are portable, they can be moved to lower surfaces if someone is in a wheelchair. Standard cutlery can be made easier to grasp through simple modifications. This can be done through changing the material, size, weight and adding on extra attachments.

Save the date for our Thermomix® event (see below for the event poster). The event will teach and guide you through how a Thermomix® can aid different cooking skills at home, all with just one appliance! Register here before numbers meet capacity. We can't wait to see you there!

Everyone uses different specialised kitchen appliances that help make cooking, eating and everyday tasks a lot easier. So please reach out to us if you want to try out some new kitchen aids or require assistance for what appliances are best for you!

Thermomix® - Cooking With Disability
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PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT

This month we are taking a break from our traditional provider spotlight to announce that our Solutions Centre Coordinator (@Amber) is growing and moving into another role within the company! Well done Amber! 👏

So we are on the look out for a new Solutions Centre Coordinator who has lived experience with using Assistive Technology & who wants to join our #workfamily and help continue to build the centre and it's initiatives...

If this is you, or someone you know, please send a copy of your resume expressing your interest in the role to admin@otservicesgroup.com
So, this month, we took a moment to sit down with @Amber to understand more about what she has enjoyed about the role and what she sees for the future....

"What I enjoyed most:
  • I really enjoyed using my lived experience to help create a safe environment and better outcomes for others living with disability.
  • I enjoyed hearing so many amazing life stories of those who have experienced disability and then using their experiences combined with my own to help facilitate educational sessions for allied health professionals.
  • I've really enjoyed making so many friends at work and am so glad that I am staying with OTSG!
How the organization supports me:
  • OTSG has been so flexible with variations with my health and are very understanding of my limitations, eg: part time hours, time off with short notice, altered hours in I'm getting burnt out.
  • My fantastic OT Lois also was so helpful in making sure my work space was set up for me specifically and that I had the assistive technology I needed to be comfortable and safe.
  • My lived experience has also always been respected and acknowledged which has been so supportive and validating as more often than not people with disabilities do not get to have a say in shaping services for us.
What do I see for the future of the centre:
  • So many amazing things! I'm hoping now that the world is learning to live with COVID we will be able to start offering some of our awesome in person groups and events again (safely of course). I look forward to seeing all of the fun social groups we will be able to hold, and for all of the amazing resources we will continue to grow for everyone to use.
  • I am so glad that I will still get to be a part of such an amazing initiative and see all of the good that the Solutions Centre will bring over the years."
ASK THE TEAM!

Do you have any questions or a problem you want our team of experts to help you solve? We're here to help you! Just reply or send us an email and our team of experienced therapists, suppliers & engineers will work together to find you a solution!

This month Lyon asked our team how I can return to driving following a stroke?

Firstly, yes! A person can return to driving following a stroke, however as it is a reportable condition, the person would need to notify the Department of Transport of the condition and then likely demonstrate their medical fitness to drive. For persons who have suffered a stroke, it is usually a question of what stage they are at with their recovery as to when is the right time to return (or begin) driving. Even in people who don't experience significant symptoms, lethargy and difficulty in concentration/ attention can be limiting following a stroke. However, most people will experience recovery of all or some symptoms following a stroke, so we rely on the medical practitioner to determine when is the right time to consider returning (or commencing) driving. The medical standards differ for private and commercial licenses, and often a graded return to driving is implemented. As a minimum, the national medical standards require a minimum non-driving period for all drivers following a stroke (generally speaking at least four weeks for private drivers and at least three months for commercial drivers).

How do I demonstrate my medical fitness to drive? Department of Transport will likely request that you obtain medical clearance from your doctor (GP or specialist) to determine if you are medically fit to drive or if further specialist assessment is required. Often, your doctor will request further specialist assessment or refer you to have a driving assessment undertaken (with a Certified Occupational Therapist) if you have long-lasting impairments caused by the stroke that may affect your ability to drive.

Often, private drivers may resume driving after the non-driving period without a subsequent specialist assessment or licence limitations when there is no severe impairment (with regard to driving), however this is determined in the initial medical assessment with your doctor. Whereas long lasting functional deficits may be a sign that a person needs further evaluation to determine the best time to return to driving.

Depending on the type of impairment experienced, some private drivers may require a conditional licence. The licence may have restrictions such as those for car modifications, automatic transmission only, day-time driving only etc. and these conditions will be determined through the different medical and other evaluations.

To find out more, feel free to get in touch or visit us at the @Solutions Centre, or we have further information on our website.
AUGUST DIGNITY DRIVE DONATION

Throughout the month of August @Solutions Centre, we are collecting period products as part of @Share The Dignity Australia.

You can donate pads, tampons, maternity pads, period undies, menstrual cups and incontinence products in original packaging.
 
You can drop off donations between Monday and Friday between 10am and 3pm.
.

AUGUST DIGNITY DRIVE DONATION
Amber Jones
iRobot Automated Vacuum Cleaning Robot
iRobot Automated Vacuum Cleaning Robot - Use the iRobot HOME App that comes with the roomba to clean or schedule from anywhere, anytime. Roomba 670 recharges itself when the job is done. Its powerful cleaning system captures dirt, dust, all types of hair and larger debris from hard floors and carpets, which  eases the stress of cleaning for those who find the general vacuum cleaner too heavy, too difficult to grip or experience too much fatigue to regularly vacuum.
Wheelchair Boot Slider - Often many wheelchair users and carers have difficulty getting their wheelchair into the boot of their car, and usually resort to having to lift the wheelchair which can be very taxing or unsafe. The Wheelchair Boot Slider can help make this job easier by allowing you to simply slide your folding wheelchair into the car with the pull of a strap.
Wheelchair Boot Slider
Homecraft Kitchen Workstation
​Homecraft Kitchen Workstatio​n -  A tough, durable chopping board that features a removable grater and slicer with a protective cover that will collect the food with minimal mess. It also features removable stainless steel spikes that can be used to hold fruit or vegetables in place for chopping or peeling. The Kitchen Work Station also features a removable clamp that can be opened to 110 mm wide to hold food, bowls or tins in place. This clamp has a reversible edge that can be either contoured or flat and it features four non-slip suction pads to hold the board in place. This product is dishwasher safe to make food prep even easier.
Clip On Adjustable Strainer - This heat-resistant, silicone strainer is a simpler and often safer way to prepare food. Its clips make it very versatile, fitting onto nearly all pots, pans and bowls. The clips' strong grip will keep it safely attached while in use and can be left attached to the pot while cooking. Once attached, the pot can be tilted over a sink or bowl to strain your cooking with ease. Useful for people with reduced upper limb function or upper limb deficiency.
Clip On Adjustable Strainer
HAPPENINGS
Thermomix® - Cooking With Disability
7th September 2022, 11 am - 1 pm

Gaining independence with meal preparation is an important task of daily living for many participants within the NDIS.🧑‍🍳

Often people with disability are looking for assistive technology to build capacity and increase independence in the kitchen. While Thermomix® is an NDIS-approved product, how exactly can a Thermomix® help achieve those goals when it comes to meal preparing and cooking at home?

So, we invite you to join us in this interactive session to learn how you can use a Thermomix® to achieve independence with meal preparation - we will even send you home with a nifty handout with tips on accessing low and medium cost items through the NDIS!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
Driving With Disability
Fortnightly on Mondays , 11 am - 1 pm

Join Amber and Tracey at this amazing opportunity to make new friends while creating something unique. 🖼️

This Art Time Session welcomes everyone to get together to have some fun time while participating on an artwork project. You can bring your own project or take the opportunity to bring something new to life.

All ages and abilities are welcome. If you are a participant (or you’re working with a participant) who would enjoy and benefit from participating in a creative activity in a welcoming community space, We encourage you to join us.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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PHONE: (08) 9332 1783 | EMAIL: solutions@otservicesgroup.com
Supported by:
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES GROUP - OTSG
FREEDOM MOTORS AUSTRALIA
EMPRISE MOBILITY
NATIONAL TRADE SUPPLIER - NTS
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2 Gracechurch Crescent
Leeming
WA
6149
Australia


2 Gracechurch Crescent
Leeming
WA
6149
Australia



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