On World Physio Day (8 September), we celebrate Yooralla’s fabulous physiotherapists, including Andrew Gook--who joined Yooralla 18 months ago. Andrew is a competitive power lifter in his spare time and works across Melbourne supporting Yooralla’s adults and young adult clients to work towards their physical, movement and health related goals.
- How would you describe the work you do for Yooralla?
I’ve supported people through a range of things depending on their goals…anything to do with physical skills. Supporting people to access the community; and support for activities of daily living, so things like getting out of bed or walking around the house, where they may require support.
Out in the community I do gym, exercise and hydrotherapy programs to improve peoples’ physical fitness and physical skills. Also, I do equipment prescriptions for wheelchairs, walking frames and also manual handling aides (transfer equipment like slings etc.).
- How can a physio support people with disability to achieve their NDIS goals?
First, we will have a comprehensive, collaborative discussion with a person about their goals and do a thorough physical assessment.
Physiotherapy can support a person with improving their:
- physical capacity to be more independent with specific tasks
- physical fitness to enhance health and wellbeing
- access to assistive technology (e.g. wheelchairs or a communication device) to access the community or home environment
- community inclusion through supporting access to community activities, social groups, sporting groups or individualised exercise programs
- What approach do you take when supporting Yooralla’s clients?
I try to be as person-centred as I can, take a human rights focus and try to be a strong advocate for people. Trying to get down to the crux of what is important to the individual you’re working with is crucial…and making sure that’s clearly identified before you start doing anything.
- Can you give us an example of a Yooralla client you’ve supported to achieve their NDIS goals?
One participant I’ve worked with was having difficulty getting out into the community for her regular walk because she was becoming unsteady on her feet and was at risk of having a fall. I completed an assessment with this participant and prescribed her with a new walking frame. This allowed her to continue walking independently and increased the distance she was able to go on her daily walk in her local area. This has allowed her to remain active, doing the activity she enjoys for longer and with less support and risk of injury.
- That’s fantastic, are there any other examples that come to mind?
Another participant I started working with had not been supported to go to the gym in over two years due to gaps in services and lack of confidence with support workers assisting her. After an exploration of what she wanted to do, she explained that she wanted to improve her general fitness, and she also wanted to be able to reposition herself more easily in her power wheelchair. We have since set up an exercise program in the local gym, where she is supported to go with a support worker weekly, and she is currently working towards her goals through a regular exercise program. I was engaged to make recommendations about what exercises to do, to monitor her progress and to train the support worker to confidently deliver an exercise program with her ongoing.
- Would you recommend Yooralla’s services to NDIS participants, and if so, why?
Yes! Yooralla’s got an excellent therapy team with a wealth of experience across speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, and Yooralla is everywhere. I think Yooralla has got a very strong reputation for customer rights and empowerment, and that focus really comes across in the way that Yooralla interacts with participants and individuals, and it’s really come across in the way that I’ve been mentored and taught to practice professionally at Yooralla.
Yooralla’s Therapy services support adults and children with disability (and developmental delay) at all ages and life stages. We are currently taking new therapy clients in Melbourne’s north and in some other areas of Melbourne. If you require therapy supports, get in touch with us or find out more about our therapy supports.