Each year, Occupational Therapy Week shines a spotlight on those who provide essential care and assessment to improve the lives of others after rehabilitation or a long hospital stay.
Sophie is an Occupational Therapist at Peninsula Health, joining generations of her family in healthcare.
“My mum, nana and several aunts are nurses, so I always wanted to work in healthcare while growing up. The first time I ever heard of occupational therapy was through work experience in high school, where I spent a few days with the Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist at the local hospital in my small country town. I was instantly drawn to it, and really liked the idea of working with patients and clients across all aspects of their lives and in so many different ways.”
Sophie helps people of all ages to identify interests and goals, manage daily routines at home and in the community, modify tasks to make them easier, and recommend safe activities.
“I’m currently working within the Allied Health Outreach Occupational Therapy team. This involves assessing clients in their homes and helping them to reach their goals, which for a lot of them is to remain living at home safely and independently for as long as possible. A huge part of the role is environmental modification and equipment prescription, but also lots of education to clients particularly in preventing falls. I’ve only been in this team for a couple of months and already noticed how diverse the role is – no two days are ever the same.”
24/7 Support and Emergency Assistance with MePACS
Having a personal alarm with a 24/7 monitoring service happens to be one of her common recommendations for clients who have ongoing medical conditions or are unstable on their feet.
“MePACS can make a massive difference in people’s lives by reassuring them that if a medical emergency were to occur, they would be able to get help quickly and effectively from the 24/7 emergency response service.
I have recommended MePACS personal alarms to my clients, with emphasis on the fact that you talk to a real person who can assess the level of care you need and call the right person to help. That gives our clients and their families great peace of mind, and certainly alleviates their worry if they or their loved one has a history of falls.”
Sophie also uses MePACS duress alarms to visit clients at home. While she knows her own safety is always prioritised, she can focus on ensuring others have the same support for their health and well-being.
“It’s so important to set up your home as safely as possible, which might mean having some rails installed in the shower, next to the toilet or at any steps in the home. These are spaces where falls can frequently occur. Having a close friend or family member check in with you every so often also helps – then you know you’ve got someone to rely on and trust if something doesn’t feel right.”
Sophie says her role at Peninsula Health continues to be “fulfilling” and she enjoys the team dynamic while providing patient-centred care.
“I’ve always been part of a team and it’s great to have someone you can share ideas with or problem solve together. I also love meeting such an array of clients and forming close relationships with them. It’s so rewarding when you have been working with a client on a particular challenge for a while and they finally achieve their goal.”