exercise physiology - Therapy

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Under our therapy supports umbrella, Therapy Care offers exercise physiology to participants who require physical therapy in their NDIS plan.

One of Therapy Care’s exercise physiologists, Chris, works with participants with varying physical abilities who live with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), stroke, and physical cognitive impairments.

Chris is passionate about improving the physical health of people with varying abilities and works with his patients to overcome physical and mental barriers to better wellbeing.

According to Chris, exercise physiology is an important part of the journey to improve cognitive function as well as fine and gross motor skills.

“In every session, we work towards physical goals, which may include improving pain management, as well as increasing strength, fitness, independence and quality of life,” says Chris.

Chris always envisioned a career that would encompass his passion for helping people and his love for exercise. Chris started out at Therapy Care as a personal trainer, and immediately became inspired by the career prospects he saw around him. This led Chris to undertake further study while at the same time working at Therapy Care as an allied health assistant, a journey that four years later has seen Chris become a qualified and exceptional exercise physiologist.

Chris explains, “I was inspired by the difference I saw exercise physiologists at Therapy Care make in the lives of people living with disability. I knew early on that supporting people living with disability and/or chronic conditions through physical movement and therapy is what I wanted to spend my life doing.”

In the four years Chris has been with Therapy Care, he has had the privilege of working with many incredible participants. One that Chris can’t help but talk about is Lee.

Lee’s story

“High-spirited Lee Prince Mollica lives with autism spectrum disorder and has a lot of energy he needs to find an outlet for. When I first started supporting then 16-year-old Lee, he wasn’t in control of how he channelled this energy, which led to a lot of shouting and jumping around during our sessions in the gym. Lee was unmotivated and unwilling to listen and follow my instructions.

“After six months of training Lee four days per week where I tried various behavioural techniques, I realised the best way to manage Lee’s behaviour, create a fun environment, build his cognitive skills and improve his fitness, was to tap into Lee’s mindset. I talked to Lee about the amazing benefits that are available through exercise and got him excited about how fun it could be. This really struck Lee, who from that day on, has been incredibly committed to each training session and consistently demonstrates good behaviour,” says Chris.

“At first, Lee’s mother Sharan Prince, spoke about the positive ways Lee’s sessions were impacting other areas of his life. He was more focused in the classroom and was gaining confidence that was enabling more independent behaviour.

“A few years into our regular training, Lee secured a spot in a selective sports school where he is becoming more independent each day,” Chris says.

Sharan says, “Lee has been able to transition from a fully supported special needs school into a support unit in a mainstream selective high school where his independence is flourishing.”

Chris says, “I’m so proud of Lee and how far he’s come. It’s unbelievably rewarding to see how our sessions and Lee’s commitment has led to the incredible opportunity to further his education and nurture his athletic talents.

“What I love the most about working at Therapy Care is our collaborative approach towards enriching lives. Each participant is supported by the expertise of a team of professionals who all work together to achieve the best outcomes for each participant’s overall health and wellbeing.”

“Witnessing the ongoing improvements in every participant and being part of a journey to enable an individual to achieve a task or partake in an activity that they’ve only ever dreamed of doing is incredibly rewarding,” Chris says.

To find out if exercise physiology would be a great service to include in your NDIS plan, get in touch with us by emailing info@therapycare.com.au or calling us at 02 9626 8119. 


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World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed annually on March 21 to raise awareness about the genetic condition and promote the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down Syndrome (DS). This year’s theme is “NOT FOR US, WITH US”, which aims to encourage individuals and communities to think about creating space for people living with Down Syndrome to be the voice of their experience.

The theme is particularly relevant given the challenges and social isolation experienced by people with DS during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic amplified existing inequalities and discrimination faced by people with disabilities, including those with DS. Therefore, the theme emphasises the importance of creating a safe place for people living with DS where meaningful relationships and connections can be fostered and everyone feels heard and understood.

Therapy Care is an organization committed to providing support services and advocacy for people living with DS. As a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, Therapy Care offers a range of services to support the needs of individuals with DS and their families.

Luke has been a beloved member of the Therapy Care community since 2019. As Luke lives with Down Syndrome, he has an NDIS plan with Therapy Care that includes regular exercise physiology sessions in the gym to improve his physical health and coordination, as well as supervised swimming. Additionally, Therapy Care provides Luke with social and community participation activities, including group outings, one-on-one support and getaways, to help him build meaningful relationships and connections with his community.

Since joining the Therapy Care community, Luke has made significant progress in his personal development. Luke’s confidence and social skills have increased, and inturn, he has made many meaningful friendships. He has also seen overall improvements in his physical strength and muscle tone through his tailored exercise program.

Luke is a very outgoing, charismatic, and overall happy person. He puts a smile on everyone’s face when he walks into Therapy Care, complimenting others and never failing to dance and sing to his favorite band, the Backstreet Boys. Luke continues to develop independent living skills and is familiarizing himself with spending time away from home, catching public transport, and discovering new places and activities.

Luke wants people to know that living with Down syndrome comes with its own superpowers. He says he’s excellent at making friends and many other activities people might not expect him to excel at. Luke loves how many friends he has in the Therapy Care community. He likes helping others, celebrating his friend’s achievement, and training in the gym. Luke’s current goals are to increase his strength, become a better dancer, especially to Backstreet Boys songs and hip hop music, get better at swimming, become a better friend, make more friends, and gain more independence.

Overall, Luke’s story shows the potential for growth and development in individuals with Down syndrome when they receive the support they need. The Therapy Care team is proud to be a part of Luke’s journey and to help him achieve his goals.

As we observe World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, let us take the opportunity to connect with people with DS, promote their inclusion. Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

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It is Schizophrenia Awareness Week this week (May 22-28) and this year’s theme is ‘connecting with hope’. The theme aims to provide a platform for those living with Schizophrenia and share important information so that everyone can better understand the condition and break down harmful stigmas surrounding mental illness.

At Therapy Care, we understand how important it is for many people living with schizophrenia to find connections that form a strong support system. This is why we’re passionate about providing holistic support that includes daily living support, social support, therapy support and plan management, rather than isolated and disjointed sessions.

Today we will be shining the spotlight on two of Therapy Care’s participants, Lloyd and Lee who both live with Schizophrenia. Lloyd and Lee have both been a part of the Therapy Care community for a number of years and are outstanding advocates for the achievements of people living with disability. During their time at Therapy Care, Lloyd and Lee have formed a close friendship and use their NDIS funding to partake in programs such as the Mind-Full group day program and short term getaways together. These programs allow their friendship to grow in a safe, supported, and fun environment that strengthens both men’s support systems.

Lloyd has been a Therapy Care participant for 3 years, Lloyd’s NDIS funding allows him to attend both exercise physiology sessions and the group day program five times a week. Lloyd also sees Therapy Care’s psychologist and dietitian fortnightly. Jai, one of Therapy Care’s Exercise Physiologists, has been working with Lloyd to achieve his NDIS goals in the gym.

“Lloyd’s adherence to exercise has improved significantly and he has mentioned that he feels better physically and mentally every time he completes a gym session. Lloyd’s attitude and purpose in life have improved as he works to the best of his ability to enhance his overall wellbeing,” says Jai.

One of Lloyd’s long-term goals is to gain employment in order to increase his independence and social skills. Therapy Care Allied Health assistants Helen and Jas have been working through the employment process with Lloyd including writing a reference letter, submitting his resume, and finding appropriate jobs that Lloyd is enthusiastic about.

Lloyd’s current NDIS goals are:
✅ Maintaining a healthy weight
✅ Gaining employment
✅ Increasing independence

Inspired by Lloyd’s dedication to his daily gym sessions, Lloyd’s friend and NDIS participant Lee has decided to begin weekly gym sessions. The two men constantly support each other to remain motivated and explore new forms of therapy. Lloyd and Lee have built an enduring relationship during their time at Therapy Care. Often people living with disability can find it difficult to find friends who can relate to their journey and are truly understanding of the challenges they face. However, once these friendships grow, they can provide the encouragement, confidence and support needed for one another to achieve goals they never thought possible.

“Lloyd has become my best and most trusted friend. We recently went on a Therapy Care short term getaway together that took us out of our comfort zones and to new and exciting places. I see Lloyd as a younger brother to me, I have his back, and know that he has mine,” says Lee.

Lee is currently in the process of writing a book that focuses on his personal experience of living with Schizophrenia. Therapy Care has been working with Lee to support him in the process of writing and finding resources for publishing.

“I hope that through my book others gain insight into what it is like to live with Schizophrenia. I hope that my book can connect with others and provide them with some sort of hope.

“To me, writing is therapeutic and a way for me to express my emotions and experiences,” says Lee.
Lee’s current NDIS goals are:

✅ Working with his clinical psychologist to gain a greater understanding of his mental health
✅ Increasing confidence with technology and computer skills
✅ Increasing health and fitness

We are so proud of Lloyd and Lee and how far they’ve both come. We look forward to continue supporting them on their journey.


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April is World Autism Month, beginning with United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Throughout the month, Therapy Care will be focusing on sharing stories and providing opportunities to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism, fostering support in our wider community.

Our aim is to celebrate the diverse lives of individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This year’s theme is ‘inclusive quality education for all’ and focuses on addressing the disruption to education caused by COVID-19 and the disproportional impact it has had on individuals living on the autism spectrum.

Despite Therapy Care’s efforts to make all NDIS supports virtual, the pandemic’s interruptions to routines and support services caused many to feel further isolated in social and educational endeavor’s.

There are many exceptional people in our Therapy Care community living with ASD, three of whom have chosen to share their stories. Our hope is that through their stories, our wider community has a better understanding of ASD.

Lachlan

This year’s theme of ‘inclusive education for all’ is something Therapy Care participant Lachlan hopes to see continue to develop as he completes his final year of primary school and beyond. Lachlan has been working with Therapy Care since 2020 and during this time has worked with allied health and speech assistant Helen. Helen and Lachlan have built a trusting relationship. This relationship acts as a basis for Lachlan to explore different spaces and settings where he feels comfortable socially and inspired educationally.

“Lachlan is very bright and has excellent math skills. We are constantly amazed by his unique observations and questions due to his perspective and curious nature..

“Lachlan is sometimes hesitant when facing a new activity. However, with encouragement he will almost always successfully participate in the activity without any difficulty, amazing himself with the results,” says Helen.

Under the NDIS Lachlan currently receives occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, and weekly one on one social support services. He’s also an eager attendee of Therapy Care’s school holiday program, which allows him to meet like-minded participants in a social and fun environment.

Lachlan’s current NDIS goals include:

✅ Improving numeracy and literacy skills
✅ Improving fine motor skills
✅ Increasing his ability to regulate emotions in order to interact with peers
✅ Increasing community involvement
✅ Increasing independence

Therapy Care is very proud of Lachlan’s achievements both within his sessions and in his day-to-day life.

Josh

Josh is one of Therapy Care’s outstanding participants who has been working with Therapy Care for the last two years. Under the NDIS he currently attends weekly exercise psychology sessions and will soon start receiving social support services. During the lockdown period, Josh began to struggle with anxiety due to increased isolation from his social settings. Through building relationships with his support workers, including Therapy Care support worker’s Jaslyn and Jai, Josh has been able to develop skills in order to overcome this and increase his ability to regulate his emotions.

“Josh’s social wellbeing has increased since coming to the gym. He has gained a lot of confidence by becoming more independent in following his workout routine. Josh’s mental wellbeing has also improved as a result of him attending his physical therapy sessions,” says Jaslyn.

“With his can-do attitude, Josh is a pleasure to train with. He is committed to his NDIS goals, and as a result, has increased his overall cardiovascular fitness and strength with the guidance of his trainers,” says Jai.

Josh’s current NDIS goals are:
✅ Become more social and be involved with the community more
✅ Increase his fitness
✅ Get involved in the workforce
✅ Gain more independence

Josh says, Therapy Care isn’t just a place to exercise, it’s a fun place! I am always disappointed if I have to miss a session for any reason.”

Josh’s parents also use Therapy Care as a reward basis in order to prompt positive behavior.

Michael

Therapy Care participant Michael has achieved incredible goals during his time at Therapy Care. Under the NDIS, Michael currently receives occupational therapy, exercise physiology, and one-on-one social support. Michael is also a valued member of our group day program. Michael lives with his large family and is working on gaining independence through contributing to household chores. Currently, Michael and his support worker Kim have been assisting with weekly shopping during his one-on-one social sessions. Activities such as this create transferable skills including money handling and object finding, as well as building a greater understanding of nutrition. Outside of his family home, Michael has been working with Kim to increase his confidence in social settings.

“Michael sometimes requires encouragement to talk in front of people as he can struggle to get out what he’s feeling at times, particularly with new people. However, once you get to know him he will talk to you about everything.

“He loves being around his friends at Therapy Care and cares deeply for them. He has formed a great friendship with Rochelle,” says Kim.

Michael has also been developing writing skills in order to communicate his emotions.

“Currently, Michael is writing a diary of what he is up to and learning to put sentences together and read it back to his occupational therapist & support worker.” explains Kim

Michael’s current NDIS goals include:

✅ Increasing fitness levels
✅ Increasing confidence in social situations
✅ Increasing his ability to write in sentences

The achievements of Lachlan, Josh and Micahel during their time at Therapy Care highlight the importance of receiving adequate and holistic NDIS support. If you or someone you know is living with ASD and would like to find out more about Therapy Care’s NDIS support services, please get in touch with us at:

? info@therapycare.com.au
? 02 9626 8119


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Today, Friday, December 3, is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). It’s a time to reflect on what we can do to increase our understanding and acceptance of people with disability, as well as celebrate their achievements and contributions.

This year’s theme encourages us to highlight people, organisations and movements that work to build a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable tomorrow.

One of the (many) bright stars in our community is Lee Stewart. Lee is living with Schizophrenia and an associated psychosocial disability. He has been with Therapy Care for over three years, and receives the following disability support services under the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS):

  • Social and community participation
  • Group Day program
  • Exercise physiology
  • Psychology
  • Plan Management
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Personal Care
  • Domestic Assistance
  • Lawn Maintenance

Lee looks forward to attending the Mind-Full Group Program throughout the week, as it’s where he has meaningful conversations he has with his friends and participates in thought-provoking activities.

In fact, Lee lovesl group program so much that he encouraged eight of his good friends to join!

“A key part of managing my mental health is surrounding myself with good friends. Therapy Care’s group program gives me the opportunity to do that, as well as partake in experiences I otherwise wouldn’t,” Lee explains.

“Now that I’ve been receiving the right type and amount of support for my abilities for a while, I see the benefits of inviting people who care about your wellbeing into your life.”

Lee continues, “It wasn’t long before I started telling my friends about my support services and then eventually encouraged them to take the step to join me at the Mind-Full program.

“The Mind-Full Group Program is a safe place where we’re encouraged to participate in the way we choose. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but for people who haven’t really accessed the community in over a decade, it’s everything.

“My friend Lloyd, who’s been attending the Mind-Full program for a while now, says he really looks forward to the activities and is certain it’s reduced his stress levels,” says Lee.

It’s safe to say we’re so proud of Lee and the role he plays in encouraging his friends to take steps towards community involvement and any other goals they may have.

For Lee, he holds aspirations he never thought he would. He is currently writing a book, working on his poetry and is on track to secure employment in the new year!

“The support I’ve received has played a significant role in realising my own potential and creating more purpose in my life. It fills me with joy to express my life story with other people who may benefit from it, particularly those living with mental health conditions,” Lee says.

We’re so proud of you Lee and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you!

Therapy Care offers three separate streams of Group Day Program:

  • Mind-Full Program,
  • Life-Skills Program, and
  • Social Saturdays.

Learn more about each stream here.


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Over 10-weeks, Therapy Care’s Physiotherapist, Naomi, and Exercise Therapist, Chris, will take participants through an evidence-based program that is designed to increase an individual’s ability to manage their symptoms and slow down the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.  

Naomi and Chris understand that each individual with Parkinson’s Disease presents differently. This is why they are passionate about undertaking a thorough assessment of each participant’s abilities. The assessment is a critical part of the program as it creates a tailored approach for each participant, including the opportunity to set real goals and a roadmap on how to achieve them.

Naomi and Chris are specially qualified to provide this comprehensive Parkinson’s Program, and are eager to support those living with Parkinson’s Disease through this 10-week intensive. 

Some exciting features of the program include access to one-on-one coaching, training in our newly renovated rehabilitation room and sensory gym, learning long term exercise behaviours and working with our highly motivated and educated team members who are just as driven to achieve your goals as you are. 

While Parkinsons is a complex and individualised disease, research shows the earlier you start treatment, the better the chance is of managing and slowing the progression of symptoms. 

Our team understands how important it is to make rehabilitation a social experience and incorporate fun into managing disabilities. That is why Therapy Care also offers the opportunity to engage in group exercise twice-weekly with other Parkinson’s Program participants, as a chance to build enduring relationships.

If you’re interested in expressing your interest in our Parkinson’s Program, please get in touch with us today:

? info@therapycare.com.au

? 02 9626 8119

To learn more about receiving exercise therapy or physiotherapy under the NDIS, check out these blog posts:


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This week (22-28 August) is Speech Pathology Week. This year’s theme is: Communication is everyone’s right.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unfortunately highlighted the challenges faced by those with communication disability. We’ve seen this firsthand and it has deepened our commitment to supporting participants via telehealth sessions, so that the communication skills they’ve developed aren’t hindered.

Communication is a basic human right and Speech Pathology Week seeks to make Australians aware of this.

Speech pathologists, including Therapy Care’s Kira, work to ensure everyone can communicate with confidence.

Kira believes, “confident communication helps maximise educational, health and social outcomes.”

“To really empower a person to communicate, you need to support them with building all forms of communication that isn’t just limited to speech,” says Kira.

As mentioned, lockdown has been a challenging time for those with communication disabilities. However, there are many who have taken this challenge in their stride, and we’re thrilled to share their recent wins.

Jason Keir
Jason lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Under the NDIS, Jason receives speech pathology, exercise physiology and daily living support services through Therapy Care.

During lockdown Jason has been participating in weekly half hour speech sessions via telehealth. At the moment, Kira is working on building his social communication skills. This means working on things like extending conversations, problem solving and finding avenues where he feels confident expressing his emotions. Jason commented that he is looking forward to getting back to doing his sessions face-to-face and that he misses seeing everyone when he visits the Therapy Care Centre.

Kira says, “Jason’s attitude has been awesome during lockdown. He is always open to giving new activities a go! In his speech sessions, we practise scenarios that might come up at school, and give Jason the problem-solving tools and strategies to manage the scenario as well as his emotions.”

Kira explains, “By talking about situations that might cause frustration we normalise feeling frustrated. We then take this a step further and create a framework for addressing these issues.

“The process we’re working on is practising steps before reacting. These steps include taking a breath, identifying the problem, deciding on whether it is a big or small problem and then working out some possible ways to address the problem. Having this framework can help a participant stay calm and empowered enough to act out the steps when life’s unexpected problems arise.”

Armand Mahomudally
Armand lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Under the NDIS, Armand receives speech pathology, physiotherapy, exercise therapy and daily living support services via Therapy Care.

During lockdown, Armand has been consistently turning up to his weekly telehealth speech sessions. Armand is currently isolating with his mother and has not left the home in several weeks. Despite his current circumstance, Armand is motivated to improve his speech skills. When asked the other day what Armand is good, he replied: “I am good at improving my speech in therapy.” We couldn’t agree more Armand!

Recently Armand has been working on understanding non-literal language including sayings, phrases and idioms.

Kira explains, “Some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, reading difficulties, language disorders, or individuals who learn English as a second language can have trouble understanding these types of sayings.”

Kira continues, “This can lead to misunderstandings when talking with others as individuals are exposed to this type of figurative language frequently through books, TV, news, social media etc. Armand was over the moon the other day when he said to me “it is raining cats and dogs outside.”!”

Simon Davis*
Simon lives with Down Syndrome. Under the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS) Simon receives speech pathology and daily living support via Therapy Care.

Like many of us, adjusting to lockdown took Simon some time. Initially, he was withdrawn and spent most of his day in his. In an attempt to increase Simon’s ability to communicate and his engagement levels, Therapy Care organised a communication device for Simon. With this new found and accessible communication method, Simon started engaging with family members – asking proactive questions and initiating interactions. Now, it’s common for Simon to ask his parents: “what are you doing?” and “what’s for dinner?”, on a daily basis. Simon also uses his communication device to narrate his current and future activity, such as: “I am going downstairs.”

Kira says, “We’ve seen an incredible increase in Simon’s spontaneous communication. He is learning the flexibility of language to not only get what he needs but to connect with others.

“This is a powerful tool in developing language skills as Simon is learning and practicing the variety of ways we can communicate and the internal reinforcement this provides.”

We’re so proud of so many of our participants defying the odds and remaining unshakable in uncertain times. It’s really great to see that despite the obstacles of receiving support virtually, many members of the Therapy Care community are still receiving support that improves their skills and confidence.

To learn more about speech pathology, get in touch with us at info@therapycare.com.au. Alternatively, you can find out more about speech pathology under the NDIS, in our recent blog post ‘Accessing Speech Pathology under the NDIS

Simon Davis is not the real name of this participant. This participant has chose to remain anonymous.


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Today is International Day of People Living with Disability (IDPwD), and this year’s fitting theme is  “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”.

It champions ‘seeing the ability in disability’, a message Therapy Care promotes proudly, daily.

Therapy Care’s Allied Health and Services Manager, Natalie Delana says, “Advocating for a more disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable community is a big part of who we are. 

“We demonstrate this by advocating for holistic NDIS plans that allow our participants to achieve their goals of greater access and inclusion.”

Therapy Care participant Karlee Parkes, who lives with Down Syndrome, dreamt of living more independently and experiencing life in ways that the stigma around disability enforced were beyond her. 

Knowing this, Therapy Care has long advocated on Karlee’s behalf. As she has transitioned into early adulthood, there has been an increased need to support her independence. Karlee required a review of her NDIS plan which led to an increase by more than seven times its original size.

“We advocate for our participants by investing time into understanding exactly what they want out of life and therefore identifying what support is needed to make this possible. We then ensure we’re with them every step of the way when it comes to applying for their NDIS plan or putting a case forward for increased funding at review time. 

“We do this by accompanying them to the NDIS review, providing the NDIS with materials that support their desired outcome, and undertaking highly regarded assessments that highlight their function, abilities and areas they need support in order to achieve their goals,” says Natalie.

With the increased supports and therapies Karlee is now receiving, her NDIS plan is now life changing.

Karlee receives supports that encourage her independence by educating her about how to create healthy habits to live independently and become more involved in the community. 

Karlee’s NDIS plan includes exercise physiology, speech pathology, recreational therapy, nutrition and social supports. Karlee now also works at supported employment two days a week. 

Like most primary carers, Karlee’s mother, Kelly Parkes feels the pressure of care. Karlee’s new plan creates the opportunity for Kelly to invest in herself and other children more. She has also been able to accept a full time position at work, which she has historically had to decline due to needing to care for Karlee.

Holistic NDIS plans play a crucial role in creating a disability-inclusive community, as it educates and empowers participants to find their place in the world.

To learn more about how Therapy Care advocates for holistic NDIS plans, get in touch with us by emailing info@therapycare.com.au or calling 02 9626 8119.

 

#InternationalDayofPeopleLivingwithDisability #IDPwD #IDPwD2020 #DisableStereotypes #InternationalDayofPeopleLivingwithDisability2020


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A question we hear often is, can I receive support under the NDIS for a mental health condition? The short answer is yes. But there’s a lot you need to understand before applying, which is why we’ve answered all relevant questions below. 

What mental health conditions does the NDIS provide support for?

Many mental health conditions are funded under the NDIS. For example, at Therapy Care we support participants living with schizophrenia, bipolar and severe depression. To qualify for support under the NDIS, you must have a psychosocial disability that arises from your mental health condition.

Not everyone who has a mental health condition lives with an associated psychosocial disability. A psychosocial disability can affect your ability to undertake everyday tasks such as accessing the community, banking, shopping and performing personal care.

Living with a mental health condition and psychosocial disability is severe and longstanding. Many do require daily support to continue living quality lives despite their diagnosis.

How are people’s plans and the finance to support them determined under the NDIS?

A founding principle of the NDIS is: People with disability should be supported to participate in and contribute to social and economic life to the extent of their ability.

Under the NDIS, recovery means a person is able to achieve an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing while living with a mental health condition.

NDIS plans are developed by professional plan managers hired under the NDIS; who with supporting documentation, will decide what levels of support someone with a mental health condition needs for maintained independence and quality of life.

Once that’s determined, they suggest NDIS providers like Therapy Care for the participant to choose from. Or the participant has the option of doing their own research into finding a provider that they deem the best fit for them.

Plans consist of capacity building and core supports. The more support someone needs, the more funding they will receive in their NDIS package which is reviewed every 12-24 months.

Do people receiving funding and services under the NDIS get to choose the providers they seek support from?

The NDIS is all about choice and control. Participants have the right to choose who they receive support services from and how. If you are plan managed, you can use any support services you wish. For those whose plans are NDIA managed, they must use a registered NDIS provider. Participants can choose how their plan is managed in their initial and renewal meetings.

Some participants at Therapy Care have been referred to us by local area coordinators, while others have found us online or been referred to us by members in their community, family, or friends.

What support services are available for people living with mental health conditions?

  • Plan management (to handle paying the bills)
  • Support coordination (to assist you in choosing service providers and being linked in with community supports; there are support coordinators trained in mental health)
  • Assistance with daily activities such as meal preparation, personal care, domestic assistance and house and yard maintenance
  • Capacity building supports such as recreational therapy, exercise physiology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and dietician supports
  • Support to access the community and participate in community activities whether this be in a one on one capacity or through participating in a NDIS provider’s group day program

What’s the first step someone living with a mental health condition takes in order to apply for NDIS funding and support services?

If you think you or a loved one may be living with a mental health condition and think you may have an associated psychosocial disability, contact your local GP who will refer you to a mental health professional. From there, you complete a functional assessment and with the help of the mental health professional, fill out the submission form to the NDIS. 

This, along with other supporting documentation such as personal statements or statements written by family, friends and support workers to explain how you carry out everyday tasks is useful. Other documentation and formal assessments given to Centrelink or other government departments can also be helpful.

How does the NDIS model empower people living with disability or mental health conditions to take control of their care plan?

The NDIS empowers people with disability to have a voice and participate actively in our community. It promotes their independence and their choice and control over their service providers, and how they choose to receive support.

Therapy Care participants frequently comment on how much more in control of their lives they feel because of the responsibility and ability to choose.

Do carers receive support under the NDIS?

It is important for carers to understand and be prepared for the NDIS. Participants of the scheme are offered choice and control over the way they purchase and receive their support needs, through individual packages of support.

The NDIS recognises that carers play an important role in supporting a person with disability, and the wellbeing of the family is considered when putting together a plan for participants.

Carers can support the person they care for prepare for the NDIS by ensuring:

  • The person they care for is supported to access the NDIS
  • The person they care for receives support that is reasonable and necessary, and right for their situation
  • You, as the carer of a person with disability who is eligible for the NDIS, receives the appropriate amount of support to continue in your role as someone’s primary carer.

If you have any further questions about NDIS support for mental health conditions, please get in touch with us at info@therapycare.com.au / 02 9626 8119.


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Schizophrenia Awareness Week

This week (17-24 May 2020) is Schizophrenia Awareness Week. This year’s theme, “Stay Connected”, asks Australians to look for new ways to be more present and supportive of those living with mental illness.

Therapy Care passionately advocates for mental health on a local level and strives to break down barriers and stigmas surrounding mental illness and disability for our participants. We execute considered support services that enable and empower participants to maintain their independence and live the best quality of life possible.

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” – César Chávez

As Dr Eleanor Longden spoke to in a 2013 Ted Talk, when it comes to mental illness, the first question should be “what’s happened to you?”, opposed to “what’s wrong with you?”

Seeing more NDIS support services readily available to those living with mental health disorders is a significant step forward and allows us to provide services to Australians who may need additional recreational, physical or personal support services.

To commemorate Schizophrenia Awareness Week, Therapy Care participant Lee Stewart, 51, shares his story about living with Schizophrenia and urges us all to rethink our perception of the disorder and mental illness more broadly.

Prior to being diagnosed with Schizophrenia 22 years ago, Lee was at university undertaking his degree in a Bachelor of Education: Early Childhood Teaching. The personal trauma of losing his mother in his 20s, triggered Lee’s first schizoaffective episode.

“My mother had passed away and I was living on the streets where I was experiencing a deep depression. Following the episode, I was hospitalised for 11 months. I didn’t know who I was for those 11 months. They tried many medications to help me. At the time, I felt like I had nothing,” says Lee.

Over the next few decades, Lee’s life changed drastically. He was hospitalised various times and eventually had to make the decision to give himself a second chance at happiness.

Lee joined the Therapy Care community two years ago. During this time Recreational Therapist, Karlie Scurr, has been working closely with Lee and his support team to integrate services tailored specifically to his interests.

Missy, one of Lee’s key support workers says, “Lee, who was once very set in his ways, is now very open to trying new activities and he has adopted a more positive attitude towards life. As a result, his kindness and caring personality shines through and is noticed by our wider community.”

Lee receives the following support services from Therapy Care:
● Social and community participation
● Day program
● Exercise physiology
● Psychology
● Plan management
● Recreational Therapy

Lee says, “Therapy Care has helped me breakdown barriers. Everyone I come into contact with at Therapy Care is extremely generous with their time. I have everything I need and feel supported in my day to day life. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

“Trying new activities and socialising doesn’t come easily to me. I love that the team at Therapy Care encourages me to live outside of my comfort zone in environments where I feel safe and supported. Because of this, I’ve made new friends and enjoyed activities I never thought I would,” says Lee.

Lee prides himself on his independence and the Therapy Care team love supporting him to continue living life on his own terms.

“I enjoy living independently, especially knowing I can rely on the Therapy Care team to provide support services when I need them,” Lee says.

Lee has a full life and enjoys arts and has a passion for music.

“I love punk rock. One of my favourite activities with my support worker is going to redeye records and purchasing records. I have many CD’s and DVD’s. I have a great collection.

I enjoy watching the news, going to the club, writing poems, and walking to the corner shop to get the paper and a coffee. I enjoy playing monopoly and battleships. I like having my friends over too. My goal at the moment is to learn how to become a better cook,” says Lee.

When reflecting on the life Lee has built for himself, he is overwhelmed with pride. “It took me so long to get to where I am now and I’m so proud of myself and excited for what the future holds,” Lee says.

While we’ve come a long way in breaking down stigmas around mental illness, the perception of Schizophrenia largely remains misconstrued.

“There are many misconceptions about Schizophrenia. Many of us keep our condition well-managed and behave and function like everyone else.

“I am kind, gentle and caring. I wish more people knew this about me and that one day I don’t feel as misjudged as I do today,” says Lee.

How do you show your support for those living with mental illness? Are you doing your bit to #stopthestigma?


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2/55 Campbell St
Blacktown, NSW 2148

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Wacol, QLD 4076
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