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On-site allied health a benefit for residential aged care

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Published Wednesday 17 October 2018
  • Aged Care

When you or a loved one is facing the difficult decision of moving into residential aged care, there are many factors that the family will want to consider together when choosing a home – not the least of which being the level of care and support that you or your loved one will receive. And while we are often told to look for registered nursing as a priority, one thing you may not consider is how a home can and will offer allied health services.

Allied health complements general daily nursing care and works to improve the health and wellbeing of a person, in the form of services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, and speech pathology. Often for people living in a residential aged care community, these services are accessed through outside medical professionals who need to schedule visits to the home, however some aged care communities have their own teams of allied health professionals located on-site, which families are now seeing as an added benefit when choosing a provider.

Wesley Mission Queensland is one such provider that offers on-site allied health. “The allied health team are a part of the residential health care team; they see, engage and deliver therapy on a one on one and/or group setting on a regular basis within the residential home,” says Cecily Williams, Dietician Team Leader at Wesley Mission Queensland.

“The unique benefit of having onsite allied health services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and dietetics is that the response to referrals is exceptional, reducing the waiting time that is often felt with external providers.

“Because the allied health team is highly specialised in this residential therapy service, they understand the needs of those living in residential aged care and can respond immediately, without much disruption to the daily lives of the residents.”

On-site allied health teams work alongside residents to assist them in reaching their health and wellbeing goals, and have the flexibility to do so on an as-need basis. Cecily says that the benefits of this are felt community-wide.

“We hear so many positive stories in our daily rounds through the communities,” she says. “The occupational therapy team see just how much the residents enjoy joining in an art class, or a men’s shed group, or trying their hand at clay sculpting. Our physiotherapy assistants get to see the smiling faces of residents who join them on garden walks, designed to maintain mobility. Our speech pathologists get to see what it means to a resident who has received an individualised communication book designed to facilitate communication between that resident, their family and carers in the community. And the entire team gets to see how these things impact on the day-to-day lives of everyone living in the community, and it adds to the health and harmony of the community as a whole.”

Residential aged care allied health services

Find out more about our allied health services for residents by visiting the webpage.

Wesley Mission Queensland’s newest aged care community, Dovetree, has just opened in Sinnamon Park and is welcoming new residents. Tours of this new community are available all week, including weekends.  To find out more call: 1800 448 448 or email: contactus@wmq.org.au

 

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