Global Day of Parents: supporting parents with disability
DATE: 2 June 2016
Yesterday was Global Day of Parents, an annual day that is celebrated on June 1 each year to honour parents worldwide.
Parents play the primary role in nurturing and protecting their children, and while this is known to be an immensely rewarding experience, the responsibility of parenthood can also present a range of challenges. For parents with disability, these challenges can often be greater and there may be the need for additional support or specialised equipment.
Yooralla’s therapy services work with adults with disability to increase independence through a range of personalised therapy and support. For several years, Yooralla has supported people with disability who are soon-to-be mums and dads to prepare for parenthood.
“We work with the mothers and fathers before birth and after to see how they may need support to care for their babies. We look at the typical baby care activities - bathing, dressing, sleeping, feeding and being carried. The types of support we offer are different and unique to each parent. Typically we might look at specialised equipment, adapting mainstream equipment, requesting home modifications, referring onto services, working with the person to do a task in a different way, skill training, fatigue management and so on,” says Kylie, an occupational therapist at Yooralla.
A common challenge that Kylie and the therapy team encounter when working with parents with disability is the need for adjustable or custom modified equipment, which can often be very expensive.
Sometimes basic mainstream items will not be sufficient for individual needs, and more specialised equipment will be required. However, these items can be costly, and many of these families often rely on the disability support pension, which can mean they may have a limited income.
“A common need is for baby equipment at custom heights for people who are in wheelchairs or are shorter in stature. This may mean that they require adjustable heights for prams and bassinets, something that is not easy to come by,” says Kylie.
St Kilda Mums, a volunteer-run not-for-profit organisation which rehomes new and pre-loved baby goods and nursery equipment to families in need, has provided ongoing support for the work Yooralla does with parents with disability.
“St Kilda Mums have been a bit of a life line. They’re often able to source specialised equipment, and some of the more upper-range items that generally allow for more adjustability to meet individual needs,” says Kylie.
Most recently, Yooralla was able to facilitate the donation of a Charli chair, a specially designed adjustable baby bath chair, from St Kilda Mums for a Yooralla customer who is expecting the birth of her first born child (pictured).
Yooralla would like to extend a sincere thank you to St Kilda Mums for their continued support.
Learn more about St Kilda Mums.
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