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Reaching Goals through Physiotherapy Group Trail

10 December 2019

A trial physiotherapy group which was run by ILC at the North Beach Community Centre has shown some great results. The group consisted of up to eight individuals who each had a specific reablement goal, with all respondents reporting progress towards their goals as a result of involvement in the trial.

Reablement aims to support a person who has started to have difficulties managing everyday activities to rebuild their confidence, regain previous skills or learn new skills, improve their independence to their best capacity, reengage with community and social activities and provides valuable time to help adjust to a new situation.

Group of multi-aged males & females standing outside a building

Sessions ran for 12 weeks since August 2019, and participants had a specifically designed set of exercises to assist them to increase their capacity in strength or balance. The sessions include therapist led exercises at different circuit stations with one on one support and instruction diagrams on how to perform the exercises correctly.

Halfway through the program participants were surveyed with 100% of respondents feeling well and 100% of respondents reporting they were happy with their progress toward their goals.

Group sessions include warm-ups and cool-downs and talks about falls prevention, pendant alarms, nutritional advice and assistive technology and equipment.

One of the group’s attendees, John, who is 65, and sustained a spinal cord injury in his neck as a younger man, which has progressively worsened with age. He has undergone two operations in recent years, and the injury has caused him partial tetraplegia that has affected his balance, coordination and muscles in his legs.

John spoke with us about his experience in the group and why he joined. Overall he feels he has benefited from attending the group sessions: “I feel like the exercises have made me more motivated. At home you can get slack; we are all lazy and having something to prompt you is good. I take home the instructions and lay them out on the table at home to remind me.”

“I can’t really put my finger on anything specific, but you do feel better. Everyone has really got stuck into it. I wasn’t keen on the socialising, but I think the social side of things is really one of the benefits.”

Program Coordinator and ILC Community Allied Health Service Coordinator, Chiara Naseri has considerable experience in falls prevention clinics from running successful reablement groups in a day hospital setting: “For this trial group, each client has specific measures of strength balance and function that they are working toward. It was important to offer a tailored service for the participants, which is flexible to their therapeutic needs.

“The group-based approach offers multiple benefits and saves staff time in attending individualised home visits. These sessions offer exercise as well as education on self -management and active ageing.

“The ILC has successfully delivered allied health reablement support including individual strength and balance programs to eligible Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and Home and Community Care clients since 2016.

 “It has been such a pleasure working with participants to achieve their goals. I have been impressed with the commitment of our attendees.

Older female in green top and skirt lunging a holding chair in a hall

“At the conclusion of the trial, all participants achieved their goals and reported feeling that the group helped them feel more confident in completing exercise and maintaining their mobility. The trial has proved to be feasible to deliver from the viewpoint of the ILC, the clients and from the City of Stirling which welcomes continued involvement in hosting the groups in the future. It is hoped that a similar trial can be commenced through a southern metropolitan local council in the new year.”

This service model incorporates short term, goal-oriented therapy that maximizes clients’ independence in their home and community through a team based, interdisciplinary approach consisting of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and therapy assistants.

To find out more about how you could reach your independence goals, contact our CHSP Community Allied Health Service on Ph: 1800 885 886 or 9381 0600