Occupational Therapy Gives Darryl His Independence

Occupational Therapy - Darryl

Afford Allied Health professionals work with individuals across Australia to improve their ability to do the things that they want in life. Afford has expanded its Allied Health services to now offer supports in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychology, and Physiotherapy.

Darryl lives in Queensland and was connected with Afford occupational therapist, Nicole, to work on his goal of living independently.

Before joining Afford, Darryl was living in residential aged care. He was just 48 years old.

In Australia, there are over 6000 young people (those aged under 65 years) in residential aged care facilities according to the young people in residential care parliamentary inquiry. According to Synapse‘s website “82% of young people living in nursing homes never go out to visit their friends and nearly half never go on trips to the shops, movies or sporting events.”

With such a vibrant personality and zest for life, Darryl was not suited for aged care and Nicole’s efforts have ensured him a better quality of life.

After receiving a referral, Nicole quickly got to work building Darryl’s independent living skills in preparation for moving into a more age-appropriate accommodation. This included increasing and diversifying Darryl’s daily activities, and with Nicole’s support, Darryl has been given the opportunity to get back into the pool to go swimming. It has been a very long time since Darryl has gone swimming, but as soon as he got to the entry of the pool, the beaming smile on his face conveyed just how ecstatic he felt.

Thanks to Afford’s whole-of-life approach to disability services, supported accommodation was found for Darryl in one of Afford’s group homes in Coomera, Queensland. This means that Darryl has moved out of his unsuitable residence in an aged care facility, and into a loving Afford group home with his peers.

The Afford lifestyle

The Afford Lifestyle now provides a range of opportunities for Darryl to live life on his terms. Nicole worked closely with Darryl and his family to ensure his new home was suited to his needs. Nicole prescribed assistive technology to increase Darryl’s independence. She also designed the complex home modifications to include a new wet room, ramp entrance with rails, new flooring in the bedroom and the removal of the walk-in wardrobe for better accessibility into his bedroom. These modifications reduced environmental barriers, improve liveability and increase safety for Darryl. All these home modifications were made to ensure that Darryl has every opportunity to live the life he has always wanted.

It was a whole Afford team effort. With Nicole working on the ground, she was supported by knowledgeable and professional people across Afford to ensure Darryl’s needs were being met. Afford CEO Steven Herald played a significant part in ensuring Darryl’s wellbeing was a priority in his Afford home.

Afford’s staff work as a team to achieve goals for clients. Rosie, Executive Manager NDIS Allied Health and Kirstin, National Group Home Sales and Support Coordination Officer, worked with the NDIS regarding Darryl’s SIL application.

Allan, QLD State Manager, coordinated financials for the project. Jenn, Team Leader of QLD Group Homes, managed the move-in transition. Justine, QLD South District Manager, managed staffing and Sue, Support Coordinator, arranged the stakeholders in the process. Jayson, the handyman, completed all jobs in record time, so the home was ready for Darryl to move in straight away. Cooper, Lifestyle Support Assistant, helped Darryl’s family unpack and settle Darryl into his home on the first night in his new home.

Home, happiness and freedom

Darryl used to do the sign for ‘bus’ for the Afford bus as his sign for what was most important to him. For Darryl, the Afford bus conveyed freedom as it took out to all the activities he enjoyed. Now, Darryl signs his ‘head on a pillow’ to symbolise his new home and newfound freedom the home has given him.

Afford Occupational Therapists are qualified health professionals who support Afford clients to develop their skills in occupations that are meaningful to them.

“Occupational therapists use a whole-person perspective to work with individuals, groups and communities to achieve optimal health and wellbeing through participation in the occupations of life. The term ‘occupation’ is used to describe all the everyday things we do in our life roles, but also the things we do to be who we are, the things we do to create a meaningful life and to engage with wider society and culture.” OT Australia Find out how Afford’s Allied Health team can support you live the life you want today.

Why not come and speak to us at the Brisbane Disability Expo, Friday and Saturday, 1 and 2 November, Royal International Convention Centre? Click here to register.