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Inform issue 25 – Winter 2018

In this issue of Inform we focus on new beginnings and changes. We follow the story of Joel who following a traumatic accident, had to start from scratch in his career.

In this issue of Inform we focus on new beginnings and changes. We follow the story of Joel who following a traumatic accident, had to start from scratch in his career.

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Coping with a crisis NDIS Feature Managing your money<br />

Finding<br />

home<br />

again<br />

Issue #<strong>25</strong>


<strong>Inform</strong> is<br />

Independence<br />

Australia’s crossdisability<br />

magazine.<br />

We encourage readers to<br />

submit suitable content<br />

for consideration by<br />

Independence Australia. All<br />

correspondence of this nature<br />

should be directed to:<br />

inform@iagroup.org.au<br />

While every effort has been<br />

made to ensure the accuracy<br />

of the information in this<br />

publication, Independence<br />

Australia assumes no<br />

responsibility for errors<br />

or omissions of any<br />

consequences of reliance in<br />

this publication. The opinions<br />

expressed in this publication<br />

do not necessarily represent<br />

the views of Independence<br />

Australia. Medical information<br />

included is not intended to be<br />

a substitute for professional<br />

advice.<br />

Your NDIS journey<br />

of care starts here<br />

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)<br />

is a new way to provide support for Australians<br />

with a disability, their families and carers.<br />

CORE<br />

SUPPORTS<br />

Daily activities: In-home<br />

& in the community.<br />

Consumables &<br />

continence products.<br />

CAPACITY<br />

BUILDING<br />

Therapy, skills<br />

development &<br />

co-ordination<br />

of support.<br />

CAPITAL &<br />

ASSISTIVE<br />

TECHNOLOGY<br />

Household aids &<br />

mobility equipment.<br />

As a leading service provider, our dedicated team of co-ordinators are here to<br />

support your journey to the NDIS. We’ve got you covered with a wide range of<br />

products, equipment, services and supports for your NDIS package, all from our<br />

one organisation.<br />

ABN 80 973 805 243<br />

Building 1, 9 Ashley Street<br />

West Footscray VIC 3012<br />

inform@iagroup.org.au<br />

www.independenceaustralia.com<br />

2<br />

independenceaus<br />

independenceaus<br />

STEP 1.<br />

Preparing<br />

your plan.<br />

STEP 2.<br />

Developing<br />

your plan.<br />

STEP 3.<br />

Getting your<br />

plan approved<br />

by the NDIA.<br />

STEP 4.<br />

Choosing your<br />

providers and<br />

implementing<br />

your plan.<br />

Visit independenceaustralia.com/ndis<br />

to learn more about the NDIS<br />

and how it affects you.<br />

STEP 5.<br />

Reviewing<br />

your plan.


Welcome<br />

Issue #<strong>25</strong><br />

contents<br />

new<br />

beginnings<br />

This <strong>issue</strong> of <strong>Inform</strong> is all about celebrating new<br />

beginnings and changes, as we in the <strong>Inform</strong> team<br />

have our own new beginning to celebrate. In May <strong>2018</strong><br />

we were given the fantastic news that our magazine<br />

was selected as part of the NDIS’s <strong>Inform</strong>ation,<br />

Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) framework. This<br />

is a great recognition of the work we are doing in the<br />

space, and we’re very excited to share this with you.<br />

Over the coming months you will see many changes<br />

to <strong>Inform</strong>, so keep your eyes peeled and watch this<br />

space.<br />

In this <strong>issue</strong> we follow the story of Joel who, following a<br />

traumatic accident, had to start from scratch with his career. His<br />

story of determination shows us that you are never too old to<br />

find your passion again, and that the sky is the limit when you<br />

put your mind to it. In this <strong>issue</strong> you will also find the first in our<br />

series of NDIS features and, as many regions take their first<br />

steps into the scheme, we are asking you the question: are you<br />

NDIS ready?<br />

7<br />

8<br />

12<br />

14<br />

23<br />

Staying free from Urinary Tract<br />

Infections<br />

Feature article: Finding Home<br />

Again<br />

NDIS feature: How to pick a<br />

provider<br />

NDIS feature: Are you NDIS<br />

ready?<br />

Healthy eating on a budget<br />

8<br />

Over the coming <strong>issue</strong>s we will be working to de-mystify the<br />

scheme, and provide you with the information you need to<br />

navigate it effectively. We look forward to sharing this with you,<br />

and please get in touch with us if you have an NDIS myth you<br />

would like busted in future <strong>issue</strong>s.<br />

The <strong>Inform</strong> team is committed to bringing you quality,<br />

informative content wherever you are in Australia, so we<br />

encourage you to get in touch with us if you have a story of<br />

independence to share. You can reach the team at<br />

inform@iagroup.org.au.<br />

Alison Crowe<br />

Managing Editor: Alison Crowe<br />

Deputy Editor: Rachel Tyler Jones<br />

Design: Mark Lovatt<br />

Cover Story Photography:<br />

Meredith O’Shea<br />

Special Thanks: NDIA, TAC, Dietitians<br />

Association of Australia<br />

3


Nov- Dec <strong>2018</strong><br />

What’s<br />

On<br />

November<br />

Movember<br />

14 World Diabetes Day<br />

12-18 National Psychology<br />

Week<br />

December<br />

3 International Day of Persons<br />

with Disabilities<br />

10 Human Rights Day<br />

12 International Universal Health<br />

Coverage Day<br />

26 National Leftovers Day<br />

4


Out and about<br />

Accessibility<br />

Weekend<br />

The 14th Accessibility<br />

Weekend is over and what<br />

a resounding success the<br />

<strong>2018</strong> event was!<br />

Independence Australia was<br />

lucky enough to have Australian<br />

wheelchair rugby legends<br />

Nazim Erdem and Josh Hose<br />

champion the annual event,<br />

which saw Victoria’s favourite<br />

tourist attractions open their<br />

doors for free to wheelchair<br />

users and their carers on 8 and<br />

9 September.<br />

ArtVo, Sovereign Hill, Eureka<br />

Skydeck, LEGOLAND and the<br />

Arthurs Seat Eagle were just<br />

some of the 40 accessible<br />

regional and metro venues that<br />

participated this year.<br />

The event, which signifies<br />

the importance of access and<br />

inclusion for people living with<br />

a physical disability, took place<br />

as part of Spinal Cord Injury<br />

Awareness Week.<br />

This was especially significant<br />

for the two Paralympians in<br />

attendance, who coach and<br />

mentor people with spinal<br />

cord injuries on their journey<br />

to return to their communities<br />

independently. They noted<br />

the personal importance of<br />

accessibility in living a fulfilling,<br />

inclusive life.<br />

Erdem became a quadriplegic<br />

after diving off a pier into<br />

shallow water at the age of<br />

20. He went on to win two<br />

gold and two silver medals at<br />

five Paralympics from 2000<br />

to 2016. Hose, an incomplete<br />

quadriplegic, won gold medals<br />

at the 2012 London and 2016<br />

Rio Paralympics. He was a<br />

passenger in a car that rolled<br />

down a 20-foot embankment,<br />

during which he sustained a<br />

spinal cord injury.<br />

Independence Australia Chief<br />

Executive Officer Peter Turner<br />

said Accessibility Weekend links<br />

with the organisation’s objective<br />

to support people living with<br />

a disability or personal need<br />

to regain and retain their<br />

independence.<br />

“Accessibility Weekend is an<br />

invaluable opportunity for<br />

Victorians living with a disability,<br />

their families and carers to<br />

enjoy the inclusive access each<br />

participating venue has to offer,”<br />

Mr Turner said.<br />

Independence Australia<br />

also teamed up with Global<br />

Ballooning Australia to offer one<br />

lucky Accessibility Weekend<br />

guest and their carer the<br />

chance to win an accessible<br />

ride in Global Ballooning<br />

Australia’s Easy Access Basket<br />

across the Yarra Valley.<br />

This year, Roy Davie impressed<br />

us with his innovation to<br />

improve accessibility for<br />

wheelchair users and nabbed<br />

the prize with his entry: “I’d like<br />

to see fully automated ramps on<br />

public transport at every door<br />

that are deployed when doors<br />

open and retract when doors<br />

close.”<br />

5


Featured Product<br />

TENA<br />

FOR MEN<br />

to help with prostate<br />

enlargement<br />

Enlargement of the prostate is<br />

a normal part of ageing for men.<br />

The prostate gland surrounds<br />

the top part of the urethra and<br />

enlargement narrows the urethra<br />

and puts pressure on the base of<br />

the bladder. This can affect the<br />

passing of urine and can cause<br />

a variety of symptoms, including<br />

urinary incontinence for some men.<br />

Some will have enlargement with no<br />

symptoms and others will have symptoms<br />

requiring intervention. One in seven men<br />

will be diagnosed with prostate cancer<br />

by the age of 85. It is more common in<br />

older men, with 63% of cases diagnosed<br />

in men over 65 years of age (1) .<br />

Surgery is usually only considered<br />

for incontinence after non-invasive<br />

treatments have failed and the condition<br />

is interfering with the individual’s quality<br />

of life. It is a big decision for anyone<br />

as there can be complications, such<br />

as infection, bleeding and damage to<br />

surrounding t<strong>issue</strong> and nerves, so it is<br />

usually considered as a last resort option.<br />

The following are non- invasive strategies<br />

to help address enlarged prostate<br />

symptoms:<br />

• loss of weight can reduce pressure on<br />

the pelvic floor and bladder<br />

• avoidance of caffeinated drinks<br />

(alcohol, fizzy drinks, coffee, tea) that<br />

can irritate the bladder and increase<br />

urinary frequency<br />

• reduction or cessation of smoking as it<br />

can also irritate the bladder (2)<br />

• pelvic floor muscle exercises can<br />

support the bladder and urethra to<br />

improve urinary control (referral to a<br />

specialist men’s health physiotherapist<br />

if needed) (3)<br />

• bladder retraining can improve<br />

bladder capacity (4)<br />

• Use of a discreet pad for dribbles or<br />

incontinence so that one can feel dry,<br />

maintain dignity and feel confident in<br />

social situations<br />

If all these measures have not improved<br />

symptoms, surgical options may need<br />

to be explored. Of course if the prostate<br />

is cancerous, an individual may require<br />

surgery or radiation therapy as immediate<br />

treatment, but this will be determined by<br />

the Urologist.<br />

TENA has an excellent range of products<br />

specially designed for men. They come<br />

in a range of sizes, levels of absorbency<br />

and with a discreet design.<br />

Free samples can be ordered via TENA<br />

website: www.tena.com.au<br />

1.https://www.cancer.org.au<br />

2.https://www.tena.com.au/men/causes-of-urinary-incontinence/being-a-smoker/<br />

3.https://www.tena.com.au/men/incontinence-treatments/pelvic-floor-exercises-for-men<br />

4.https://www.tena.com.au/women/incontinence-treatments/bladder-retraining/<br />

6


Your Health<br />

Your health<br />

Staying free<br />

from Urinary<br />

Tract Infections<br />

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a relatively common<br />

but unpleasant problem that affects the bladder and/<br />

or kidneys. Symptoms may include; changes in bladder<br />

habits, burning pain with urination, back or tummy<br />

pain, urinary urgency, incontinence, a high fever and<br />

even delirium if left untreated.<br />

Not all infections are easy to detect, and some people may<br />

feel only mildly unwell or have unexplained changes to their<br />

bladder habits. Carers of people who cannot communicate<br />

clearly often report that the only outward indication of a UTI is<br />

strong smelling urine or a change in mood or behaviour.<br />

Fact: women and the elderly have a slightly higher risk of UTI<br />

Most urinary infections are caused by a bacteria that has made<br />

its way into the bladder via the urethra or via continence aids<br />

such as a catheter. This requires direct contact between the<br />

entrance to the bladder and the bacteria. Bad smells and<br />

public toilet seats are not to blame for UTIs, because they do<br />

not make contact with the entrance to the bladder.<br />

UTIs are more<br />

likely caused by:<br />

1.<br />

Poor wiping techniques after<br />

toileting. It is important to wipe from<br />

front to back, particularly after a<br />

bowel action. Bacteria that belong<br />

in the bowel can cause problems<br />

if they get into the urethra and<br />

bladder.<br />

2.<br />

Bacteria on your hands or other<br />

surfaces making contact with the<br />

urethra or continence aids. Make<br />

sure you know the correct clean<br />

techniques for using catheters and<br />

use single-use catheters where<br />

possible. Care workers should wash<br />

their hands well and wear gloves for<br />

intimate care.<br />

3.<br />

Broken, wet and fragile skin, which<br />

is more susceptible to infection.<br />

Good skin care and appropriate<br />

use of continence aids can ensure<br />

skin is healthy and more resistant to<br />

infection. Powders and harsh soaps<br />

should not be used on intimate<br />

areas.<br />

4.<br />

Poor fluid intake. A good flow<br />

of urine can wash away any stray<br />

bacteria that may be in or near the<br />

urethra, therefore preventing an<br />

infection. Drinking about 1500ml of<br />

fluid a day ensures a good amount<br />

of urine.<br />

5.<br />

Not emptying your bladder fully.<br />

If you hover instead of sitting<br />

properly on the toilet, some urine<br />

stays inside the bladder which<br />

encourages stray bacteria to<br />

multiply rather than being flushed<br />

out. Other causes of incomplete<br />

emptying include constipation and<br />

prostate enlargement.<br />

7


8


Feature<br />

Finding<br />

home again<br />

Photography: Meredith O’Shea<br />

Home for Joel has always been a place where he could hear<br />

the birds singing and see the trees growing outside his window.<br />

Growing up an active man, Joel was not known for sitting still or<br />

for keeping quiet for long <strong>–</strong> he much preferred being on the go,<br />

and making connections with people as he went. In his youth he<br />

travelled all over Victoria; working in kitchens, building sites and<br />

in supported living residences <strong>–</strong> anything that allowed him the<br />

opportunity to travel, make friends and keep busy. With the birth<br />

of his two young daughters Joel’s life seemed complete, as if the<br />

world was at his feet.<br />

9


Feature<br />

Physically he was at home, but<br />

mentally Joel was far away<br />

Then a fateful mistake 12 years ago turned his life<br />

on its head. While visiting the northern suburbs of<br />

Melbourne to see a friend, Joel made the splitsecond<br />

decision to step out onto the road from<br />

behind a tram, without realising that there was<br />

oncoming traffic on the other side. A fast-moving<br />

car collided with Joel, sending him flying onto the<br />

road and severing his spinal cord in the process.<br />

Following the accident Joel was left a paraplegic<br />

and unable to walk. After a relatively quick rehab<br />

journey where he was taught how to take care<br />

of himself again, he returned home to myriad of<br />

house modifications and changes to ensure that<br />

he could simply get in the front door. On the face<br />

of it, with these changes made and the duties<br />

of caring for his young daughters returning, it<br />

seemed life had resumed its fast pace in Joel’s<br />

household, and that ‘normality’ would soon set in<br />

again.<br />

For Joel, however, it felt as if time was standing<br />

still. So used to being on the go all the time, his<br />

life felt disrupted and directionless. Physically<br />

he was at home, but mentally Joel was far away.<br />

Joel recalls that early on he would spend his<br />

days sitting in his wheelchair staring out the front<br />

window, wondering what on earth was going to<br />

happen with his life now.<br />

Joel felt lost. He could no longer work in his<br />

much-loved active roles, and he was struggling<br />

to deal with the impact of what had happened<br />

to him. Just as Joel was beginning to lose<br />

all motivation, a close friend made a simple<br />

suggestion to him: “Well you talk all the time, why<br />

don’t you do that for a job? I know a place.”<br />

Thanks to this friend, Joel was linked up with<br />

a high school educational program aimed at<br />

educating young people about risk-taking and<br />

Above: Joel sharing his experience with a group of students.<br />

consequences. The role saw Joel visiting high<br />

schools and speaking to the students about his<br />

experience with his injury, and what he would<br />

do differently if he could turn back time. It only<br />

took a few presentations for Joel to feel as if he<br />

had found his place in the world again. He loved<br />

the way he felt after visiting a school <strong>–</strong> he felt he<br />

could change lives and make a difference, simply<br />

by sharing his story.<br />

Fast forward a few years and Joel is a completely<br />

different man <strong>–</strong> he is motivated, active and<br />

settled. No longer spending his days staring out a<br />

window, he has found a new lease on life and he<br />

attributes that to finding his passion in educating<br />

young people. Looking forward, Joel hopes that<br />

by sharing his story he can motivate others to<br />

tackle their own personal challenges, and not let<br />

one thing define who they are.<br />

By finding his new passion, Joel has found his<br />

way home again. And he couldn’t be happier.<br />

10


Featured Product<br />

Spring<br />

into better<br />

skin care<br />

Skin becomes thinner and<br />

more fragile as we age and is<br />

less capable of withstanding<br />

mechanical pressure, which<br />

leads to an increased risk of skin<br />

injury. 1<br />

Of particular concern with ageing skin are<br />

skin tears. Chronic wounds such as leg<br />

and pressure ulcers that are associated<br />

with elderly patients present a major<br />

burden, both in terms of cost and in terms<br />

of the time taken to treat them.<br />

Apart from the pain and distress, skin<br />

tears are also costly to treat <strong>–</strong> the<br />

estimated mean cost is $488.95 per<br />

wound 3 . But moisturising with QV Skin<br />

Lotion, twice-daily is proven to prevent<br />

skin tears, reducing their incidence by<br />

up to 51% 4 . Free of any irritants, QV Skin<br />

Lotion has been designed to alleviate<br />

skin dryness.<br />

Using a pH skin balanced, non<strong>–</strong>soap<br />

gentle cleanser such as QV Gentle<br />

Wash, also offers additional moisturising<br />

benefits, especially when used in<br />

combination with QV Skin Lotion.<br />

Australian made and owned by Ego<br />

Pharmaceuticals, QV is a leading skin<br />

care brand trusted by generations to<br />

cleanse, moisturise and soothe dry,<br />

sensitive skin.<br />

For more information visit: www.egopharm.com<br />

References: 1. Dyer JM, Miller RA. Chronic skin fragility of aging: current concepts in the pathogenesis, recognition, and management of<br />

dermatoporosis. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. <strong>2018</strong> Jan;11(1):13-18. Epub <strong>2018</strong> Jan 1. 2.(PDF) Principles of Skin Care in the Elderly. Surber, Christian<br />

& Brandt, S & Cozzio, A & Kottner, Jan. (2015). Principles of Skin Care in the Elderly. Giornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia : organo<br />

ufficiale, Societa italiana di dermatologia e sifilografia. 150. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281637016_Principles_of_Skin_Care_<br />

in_the_Elderly 3. Vu T, Harris A, Duncan G, Sussman G. Cost effectiveness of multidisciplinary wound care in nursing homes: a pseudorandomized<br />

pragmatic cluster trial. Fam Pract 2007; 2 4: 372<strong>–</strong>379.4. Finch K. Skin tear prevention in patients over 65 years of age in a<br />

hospital setting. PodiumPresentation. 10th Australian Wound Management Association Conference, May 7<strong>–</strong>10 2014, Brisbane, Australia.<br />

11


How to pick an<br />

NDIS provider<br />

12


NDIS Feature<br />

For new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)<br />

participants, the task of picking a supports provider can often be daunting.<br />

There are so many providers across the country, and they all seem to offer<br />

you the world. So how can you feel sure that your decision is the right one<br />

for you?<br />

Firstly, make sure that you are familiar with your<br />

NDIS plan. Your plan will ultimately determine<br />

what supports you can access, so it is important<br />

for you to understand what you are funded to<br />

receive. Take the time to go over your plan with<br />

someone you trust, and make a note of any<br />

questions you might have as you go. Once you<br />

have done this you can get in touch with your<br />

Support Coordinator or Local Area Coordination<br />

(LAC) service with these questions. These<br />

services exist to help you navigate the NDIS, and<br />

they will provide you with support as you need it.<br />

Once you are familiar with your plan, you can<br />

then start focusing on your goals and how you<br />

would like a provider to help you to achieve them.<br />

For example, you may have the goal of living<br />

independently, and would like a lot of assistance<br />

in achieving this. Or you may have the goal of<br />

getting back to work, and want little assistance in<br />

achieving this <strong>–</strong> it is entirely up to you.<br />

Research potential providers <strong>–</strong> there are a lot<br />

out there! Whether you want one provider to do<br />

everything, or several different providers to do a<br />

number of different things, research is important<br />

when choosing the right fit for you. There are<br />

many ways you can research providers; you<br />

can do this with assistance from your Support<br />

Coordinator or LAC, by using the Provider Finder<br />

on your NDIS portal, by using a comparison<br />

website or doing an online search yourself, or by<br />

consulting with your peers on their experiences.<br />

All forms of research are valid and can help you to<br />

make the best choice for you.<br />

do you feel supported?<br />

do you feel like you can<br />

trust them? do you feel<br />

confident ?<br />

While researching, we recommend that you<br />

develop a ‘shortlist’ of providers that you can<br />

contact before making a final decision. Get in<br />

touch with your shortlist and question further<br />

their capacity to help you reach your goals. Ask<br />

them anything you want to know. When you are<br />

talking to them pay attention to how you’re feeling<br />

during the conversation: do you feel supported?<br />

Do you feel like you can trust them? Do you feel<br />

confident? You want to find a provider that makes<br />

you feel and say yes to all three!<br />

It is important to remember in this process that<br />

you are a customer, and it is up to you make the<br />

best choice for yourself. While there are supports<br />

like LAC’s and Support Coordinators along the<br />

way, they can only provide options for you to<br />

choose from, they cannot make the best decision<br />

for you <strong>–</strong> only you can do that. If you treat the<br />

process like shopping for any other important<br />

purchase, and take the time to consider what you<br />

need, you will be well-equipped to make the best<br />

decision for yourself.<br />

13


NDIS Feature<br />

Are you<br />

NDIS<br />

ready?<br />

With the NDIS rollout continuing across<br />

the country there is no shortage of<br />

questions and queries about the scheme.<br />

There are also many people who are<br />

accessing supports and funding for<br />

the very first time who may not be<br />

feeling entirely confident in their ability<br />

to effectively navigate the scheme.<br />

Additionally, myths and misconceptions<br />

about how the scheme works are<br />

everywhere; and can at times leave you<br />

wondering what is true or false!<br />

Over the next few <strong>issue</strong>s of <strong>Inform</strong> we will be<br />

focussing on the NDIS in a series of articles,<br />

from myth-busting features to helpful how to’s.<br />

To start, we share our top tips for NDIS planning<br />

success.<br />

1. Be prepared<br />

The old saying goes that failing to plan is<br />

planning to fail, and this holds true when it<br />

comes to your NDIS planning. Remember that<br />

the NDIS doesn’t know you and your needs, so<br />

the more information you can provide them with<br />

the better. No detail is too small or insignificant,<br />

and everything will help the planner to develop<br />

a plan that best supports you as an individual.<br />

If you are able to, spend some time before your<br />

planning meeting gathering letters from your<br />

doctors, occupational therapists, psychologists<br />

or other specialists that talk about your disability,<br />

your support needs and your goals. These<br />

letters will be particularly important if you want<br />

certain services covered in your plan, as they<br />

will show the NDIS your need for them.<br />

In addition, bring with you any photos you think<br />

might help the planner to better understand you.<br />

Do you need house modifications done? If so,<br />

take photos of what needs changing and bring<br />

them along <strong>–</strong> this can help the planner visually<br />

see what you need.<br />

2. Be ready to share<br />

Often when we meet with new people for the<br />

first time, we like to look on the positive side of<br />

things and present a nice picture of our lives<br />

to them. While this works with ordinary social<br />

interactions, your NDIS planning meeting is not<br />

the time to put on a brave face. The NDIS is here<br />

to help you with everything in your life; including<br />

the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of it,<br />

so make sure you are honest with yourself and<br />

honest with your planner.<br />

Before your planning meeting take the time to<br />

think about your good days and your bad days,<br />

and think hard about what you need on those<br />

bad days. Don’t be afraid to talk about things<br />

that aren’t comfortable or pleasant <strong>–</strong> the planner<br />

is there to help you, not judge you or the things<br />

you say. Pretending that things are better than<br />

they are, or that problems “aren’t so bad” could<br />

mean your plan misses key areas where you<br />

need assistance.<br />

3. Think big <strong>–</strong> the sky is the limit<br />

The NDIS is all about helping you to achieve<br />

your goals. At its heart, the NDIS is designed<br />

to help you as an individual live your best life<br />

with the supports you need. And in order to live<br />

your best life, you need to think and plan for big<br />

things.<br />

Take some time before your first planning<br />

meeting to think about your life. What makes<br />

you happy? What frustrates you? What makes<br />

life difficult? What would you like to continue?<br />

What would you like to stop? What would you<br />

like to change? It is these thoughts that will help<br />

you plan your goals for your NDIS plan and<br />

your plan should be full of all the things that are<br />

important to you.<br />

14


Featured Product<br />

Finding<br />

the right<br />

continence<br />

product<br />

for you<br />

Choosing the correct continence<br />

product (aid) can be confusing.<br />

Let’s look at the three most<br />

important things to consider when<br />

deciding.<br />

Style<br />

Various styles suit different levels of<br />

mobility. Using the incorrect style may<br />

hinder your daily activity and worst of all<br />

cause leakage. There are many styles of<br />

continence products ranging from pullups<br />

to pad and pants and some with tabs<br />

(known as slips). If you are less mobile or<br />

care for a person who has limited mobility<br />

a slip like MoliCare Premium Slip may be<br />

the most suitable style to use.<br />

If you are more active and are more<br />

mobile you’ll probably want to wear a<br />

pull-up pant that looks and feels like<br />

normal underwear, like the MoliCare<br />

Premium Mobile range.<br />

Size<br />

When wearing a product that sits around<br />

the waist, it is important to have the<br />

correct waist measurement to ensure you<br />

do not get leakage and that the pad is<br />

comfortable. Measure your waist at the<br />

widest part between the actual waist and<br />

the hip. Use the guide on product packs<br />

to match your requirements. If you fall<br />

between sizes go for the smaller fit to<br />

ensure that you have a contoured fit and<br />

to reduce the chance of leakage.<br />

Absorbency<br />

Incontinence can range from a few drops<br />

to a complete emptying of the bladder.<br />

Match your pad absorbency to give you<br />

the level of protection you need. A larger<br />

or thicker pad does not always mean<br />

extra absorbency. Do not fall into the trap<br />

of increasing size to hold more urine.<br />

Instead go up an absorbency or drop<br />

level <strong>–</strong> this is indicated on the packaging.<br />

The MoliCare Premium range has a<br />

variety of styles and absorbencies to<br />

protect you in your various activities,<br />

whether its day-to-day wear, exercising,<br />

added overnight protection or travelling<br />

on a long journey.<br />

MoliCare Premium are all skin friendly,<br />

discreet and give you continence with<br />

confidence. Get MoliCare on the NDIS:<br />

contact Independence Australia on 1300<br />

032 774 or ndis@independenceaustralia.<br />

com to find out how.<br />

15


Your Health<br />

What can psychology offer in<br />

Chronic Pain<br />

Management?<br />

Anyone who suffers from persistent<br />

pain knows how much it can severely<br />

impact health and well-being.<br />

Although it may seem strange to<br />

think so, psychology has come a<br />

long way in helping people manage<br />

persistent pain. Psychological<br />

factors such as mood, beliefs about<br />

pain and coping style have been<br />

found to play an important role in an<br />

individual’s adjustment to persistent<br />

pain. In many cases, people respond<br />

well to psychological interventions,<br />

particularly those that target<br />

pain self-efficacy (PSE) and pain<br />

catastrophising (PC).<br />

PSE reflects the confidence people have<br />

in performing activities while experiencing<br />

prolonged pain. It relates to feelings of control<br />

a person has over their pain symptoms and<br />

self-management. Interventions that increase<br />

understanding and a sense of control over pain<br />

have been shown to improve PSE. PC relates<br />

to a person’s unhelpful thinking styles and<br />

exaggerated negative concepts around the<br />

experience of pain. In addition to causing distress,<br />

high levels of PC have been linked to disability<br />

and depression in chronic pain sufferers. Here<br />

at Independence Australia our psychologists<br />

are trained in a number of techniques that can<br />

help increase pain self-efficacy and reduce pain<br />

catastrophising.<br />

16


Your Health<br />

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for<br />

Chronic Pain<br />

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for chronic<br />

pain utilises similar techniques that are used<br />

in any CBT intervention, however, the focus<br />

is on the psychosocial factors that influence a<br />

person’s pain. Therefore, the first goal is to help<br />

people alter their perceptions of their pain. The<br />

task of the therapist in this instance is to help<br />

people see their pain as something that they can<br />

learn to manage, rather than something that is<br />

overwhelming to them.<br />

The second goal of CBT is to provide selfregulatory<br />

and stress management skills. Selfregulatory<br />

skills include relaxation training, guided<br />

imagery and distraction techniques which are all<br />

designed to help reduce the client’s autonomic<br />

negative response to the pain. This helps the<br />

person reduce anxiety around their pain by<br />

physically altering their unhelpful physiological<br />

responses. In addition, stress-management skills<br />

involve teaching the client how to communicate,<br />

problem solve, time-manage and plan to ensure<br />

they can adequately manage their work and<br />

everyday activities, despite their debilitating pain.<br />

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for<br />

Chronic Pain<br />

In contrast to CBT, which involves cognitive<br />

restructuring and challenging thoughts,<br />

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)<br />

emphasises observing thoughts and feelings<br />

as they are, without trying to change them. ACT<br />

stresses that even when a person is experiencing<br />

chronic pain, it is the struggle with pain (e.g. the<br />

client’s pain catastrophising) that causes suffering.<br />

For this reason it is fundamentally important that<br />

the person continues to behave in ways that<br />

are consistent with their valued goals and life<br />

directions despite their experience of pain. Within<br />

the ACT framework, pain is seen as an inevitable,<br />

and in some cases necessary part of living<br />

that can be accepted. The extent of a person’s<br />

suffering is directly related to the extent to which<br />

the person believes and acts on their pain-related<br />

thoughts. The aim of ACT therapy is to help the<br />

client develop greater flexibility in the presence<br />

of thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated<br />

with pain. Mindfulness is a key element in ACT<br />

therapy for chronic pain. By practicing mindfulness<br />

strategies, the client can learn to be the observer<br />

Chronic pain can become<br />

debilitating, demotivating<br />

and tiresome for those<br />

affected.<br />

of the pain, rather than an active participator. This<br />

observer perspective is also helpful in maintaining<br />

neutral thoughts when unhelpful thoughts and<br />

feelings arise.<br />

Chronic pain can become debilitating,<br />

demotivating and tiresome for those affected.<br />

It can wear people down. In the ACT model,<br />

value illness is a condition where a person puts<br />

valued activities on hold in order to reduce<br />

pain symptoms. Over time, this can affect the<br />

person’s relationships, social activities, work<br />

satisfaction, and general meaning of life. This<br />

severely compromises a person’s self-efficacy.<br />

ACT incorporates exercises that help a person<br />

identify their values, and identify how near or far<br />

they are living in accordance with those values.<br />

The therapy helps the client specifically identify<br />

which values are compromised by their activities<br />

to avoid or manage pain. It helps them devise<br />

strategies for managing pain, whilst maintaining<br />

their values, and thus increasing PSE.<br />

In recognition of the prevalence of chronic pain in<br />

the disability community and the significant impact<br />

on people’s lives, Independence Australia offers<br />

both individual and group options for Chronic Pain<br />

Management. If you would like to learn more, or<br />

would like to speak with one of our psychologists<br />

please contact IA Psychology and Counseling on<br />

9418 0474.<br />

Arthur Stabolidis<br />

Provisional psychologist<br />

Glossary:<br />

PSE = Pain Self-Efficacy<br />

PC = Pain Catastrophising<br />

CBT = Cognitive Behavioural Therapy<br />

ACT = Acceptance and Commitment Therapy<br />

17


Your Health<br />

Coping<br />

with a<br />

crisis<br />

Home should be a safe space,<br />

so when a crisis situation arises<br />

in the home, it can be especially<br />

distressing. Knowing where you can<br />

get help during a crisis can make<br />

the difference between keeping your<br />

head above water and drowning in<br />

the problem.<br />

Family violence<br />

Family violence can happen to anybody,<br />

regardless of age or gender. If you are<br />

experiencing a family violence crisis, there are<br />

ways to cope with the difficulties that arise.<br />

Family violence comes in the form of threatening<br />

and violent behaviour that controls or coerces<br />

someone else within the family. Violence can<br />

be physical or verbal or a combination of<br />

both. Children can be victims of abuse just by<br />

witnessing violence between adults, so it can<br />

happen at any age. If you or someone you know<br />

has suffered or is suffering from a suspected<br />

family violence crisis, there are a number of<br />

supports that are available to turn to for advice.<br />

A few are listed below:<br />

• whiteribbon.org.au/find-help/domesticviolence-hotlines<br />

• dvcs.org.au<br />

• safesteps.org.au<br />

A crisis is a time of intense difficulty of danger, or<br />

a time when an important decision needs to be<br />

made. A crisis can take many forms, but in the<br />

home specifically, <strong>issue</strong>s such as family violence,<br />

a health crisis or a housing problem are among<br />

the most common. There are a wide range of<br />

services and organisations across Australia that<br />

are there for when you are in a crisis situation.<br />

18


Your Health<br />

Health crisis<br />

Whether you live alone or with others, a health<br />

crisis can be very overwhelming. Often, decisions<br />

need to be made quickly and support needs to<br />

be put in place immediately. Finding the right<br />

support can be challenging but there are many<br />

options available. If you are in immediate danger,<br />

always call 000 or go to your local hospital. This<br />

option applies for both a physical and mental<br />

health crisis.<br />

There are mental health triage lines you can<br />

call in a mental health crisis and you can always<br />

present at your local emergency department if<br />

you require help. There are also helplines such<br />

as Lifeline that you can ring for advice or just<br />

someone to talk to. If you are experiencing a<br />

health crisis, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask<br />

for help. Here are some of the helplines you can<br />

call in a health-related crisis:<br />

• Lifeline (24-hour crisis counselling): 13 11 14<br />

• Nurse on Call: 1300 606 024<br />

• Suicide Line: 1300 651 <strong>25</strong>1<br />

• Victorian Poisons <strong>Inform</strong>ation Centre: 13 11 26<br />

Housing crisis<br />

Facing homelessness or having <strong>issue</strong>s with your<br />

housing situation can be hugely stressful, but<br />

there are supports in place if you are having a<br />

housing crisis. You may have lost your job or have<br />

become too sick to work and therefore cannot<br />

pay the mortgage or rent, which could result in<br />

the prospect of becoming homeless. Your rental<br />

property may not be in a livable state and causing<br />

you health problems, both of which can result in<br />

a housing crisis. There are crisis centres across<br />

Australia that can assist you in preventing or<br />

solving your housing crisis. The national number<br />

to call if you need help is 1800 8<strong>25</strong> 955.<br />

Having a crisis in your home environment can be<br />

extremely stressful but there are supports in place<br />

that can help you. The key message is to always<br />

reach out for help when you need it, because<br />

there are people who can and will help you to<br />

manage your crisis and, importantly, minimise<br />

stress.<br />

The key message is to always<br />

reach out for help when you<br />

need it, because there<br />

are people who can<br />

and will help you to<br />

manage your crisis<br />

19


Your Health<br />

Fabulous<br />

foods to<br />

fight cold<br />

and flu<br />

Brazil Nuts<br />

Selenium<br />

These days cold and flu season kicks<br />

off at the start of winter and hangs<br />

around like an unwanted guest well<br />

into spring. But getting sick is not a<br />

given. Boosting your diet with nutritious<br />

comfort foods can do wonders for your<br />

immune system. This is particularly<br />

important for the elderly and anyone<br />

with a compromised immune system,<br />

because colds and flu can lead to other<br />

health complications.<br />

20<br />

Flax Seeds<br />

Healthy oils<br />

Broccolini<br />

Vitamin E<br />

Foods to focus on<br />

Eating a balanced diet will provide your body with<br />

the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to<br />

function at its best, including helping the immune<br />

system to fight germs that cause colds and flu.<br />

Focusing on foods of all colours (green, yellow,<br />

orange, red and purple) is the best way to<br />

ensure your body gets all the micronutrients your<br />

immune system needs. In particular, you should<br />

ensure your diet includes plenty of the following<br />

nutrients, to improve your immunity:<br />

• Vitamin C — capsicum (all colours), broccoli,<br />

sprouts, tomatoes, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit,<br />

berries and citrus fruit (oranges, lemons,<br />

grapefruit and limes)<br />

• Vitamin E — broccoli, Brussels sprouts and<br />

almonds<br />

• Selenium — brazil nuts, meat and poultry<br />

• Zinc — fish, oysters, seafood, beef, lamb, rolled<br />

oats, baked beans and pumpkin seeds<br />

• Protein — red meat, poultry, fish and eggs<br />

• Healthy oils — salmon, tuna, flaxseeds and<br />

walnuts<br />

Capsicum<br />

Vitamin C


Your Health<br />

Eggs<br />

Protein<br />

Fish<br />

Zinc<br />

Boost your breakfast<br />

When it comes to your daily nutrition, breakfast is<br />

a great opportunity to start the day on a positive<br />

note. A bowl of warm porridge, made with whole<br />

rolled oats, and topped with berries and walnuts<br />

can give you comfort as well as a boost to the<br />

immune system.<br />

Lavish lunches<br />

For a healthy winter lunch that will raise your<br />

immunity and keep colds and flu at bay, why not<br />

indulge in some grainy toast or a muffin, topped<br />

with baked beans and an egg? If you’re looking<br />

for something more substantial, a slow-cooked<br />

meal made with beef and winter vegetables will<br />

definitely hit the spot.<br />

Super soups<br />

One of the best ways to super-charge your<br />

nutritional intake is by eating warming, nourishing<br />

soups that make the most of seasonable<br />

vegetables. The best options are those that use<br />

stock as the base, contain lots of vegetables and<br />

include some protein. Don’t forget that adding<br />

legumes and beans is a tasty and affordable way<br />

to bulk up the nutrition.<br />

You know the old adage that chicken soup is<br />

great for treating colds? Research suggests that<br />

may be true. A study found that chicken soup<br />

may contain a number of substances, including an<br />

anti-inflammatory mechanism, that could ease the<br />

symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.<br />

What else can you do?<br />

While eating well over the colder months is no<br />

guarantee that you’ll dodge all the germs, making<br />

nutritious food a priority over winter can reduce<br />

the likelihood and severity of colds. If you’re stuck<br />

for ideas, there are hundreds of healthy winter<br />

recipes available for free online.<br />

Other tips to avoid colds and flu this season<br />

include:<br />

• Washing your hands thoroughly — before and<br />

after eating, and especially after coughing and<br />

sneezing<br />

• Avoiding large crowds and other sick people<br />

• Disinfecting surfaces frequently as these can<br />

harbour viruses<br />

• Exercising regularly, where appropriate<br />

• Getting plenty of rest as this improves your<br />

immune system<br />

• Avoiding stress, as this weakens your immune<br />

system<br />

• Taking a good-quality vitamin and mineral<br />

supplement to fill any nutritional gaps.<br />

Please note: The information supplied is general in<br />

nature. Please consult your medical practitioner for<br />

individual advice.<br />

21


Money Matters<br />

Budgeting:<br />

Managing Your Money<br />

It can be hard knowing<br />

where to start when it<br />

comes to creating your own<br />

budget. We have so many<br />

outgoings that it can be<br />

difficult to track exactly<br />

where all of our money<br />

goes. Setting up a budget<br />

for the first time can often<br />

be quite overwhelming, and<br />

can be stressful to stick<br />

to in the initial months of<br />

using it, but the benefits<br />

are well worth it.<br />

You may ask, why have a<br />

budget? Put simply, a budget<br />

is an effective way to monitor<br />

your incomings and outgoings.<br />

You can set up a weekly or even<br />

monthly budget depending<br />

on your needs. There are lots<br />

of online tools you can use to<br />

help you create a budget and, if<br />

you have a smart phone, there<br />

are even apps that allow you<br />

to track your spending as you<br />

shop. If you don’t have access<br />

to a computer or a smart phone,<br />

you can simply visit your local<br />

bank and they can sit down<br />

with you and help you plan your<br />

finances <strong>–</strong> it’s not as scary as it<br />

sounds!<br />

Having a plan for your money<br />

can help you visualise your<br />

goals and ambitions in life and<br />

22<br />

plan how to go about achieving<br />

them. There is a wealth of<br />

motivation that can be found in<br />

reaching your target goal when<br />

saving (no pun intended). So,<br />

to answer the question of why<br />

have a budget: budgets can put<br />

your mind at ease, and when<br />

you can start to use your money<br />

in a smart way, you can start<br />

saving. You might even surprise<br />

yourself at how much you spend<br />

without realising it!<br />

Once you have your budget<br />

in progress, you can then start<br />

looking at other beneficial<br />

financial options such as the<br />

type of bank account you have.<br />

It’s always a good idea to go<br />

to your bank and discuss the<br />

type of account that is best for<br />

you. There are specific savings<br />

accounts with higher interest<br />

rates if saving is something you<br />

are wanting to do, and there are<br />

also accounts with no overdraft<br />

fees or bank charges if you are<br />

on a lower income. There is an<br />

account to suit everyone; you<br />

just need to find your fit and<br />

this can be done by making an<br />

appointment with your bank of<br />

choice.<br />

Everybody has outgoings that<br />

they need to budget for, and a<br />

big chunk of outgoings is made<br />

up of bills. Having a budget<br />

shows you what funding you<br />

have to allocate to each of your<br />

bills. Bill management can be<br />

hard at first, especially if you<br />

have a lot of them, but once<br />

you’re able to visualise the<br />

funds you have to put towards<br />

each bill, it becomes a lot more<br />

manageable.<br />

When designing your budget,<br />

it’s important to set realistic<br />

goals. There can be a huge<br />

risk of disappointment if you<br />

overestimate how much you<br />

are going to save over a period<br />

of time, or if you cannot afford<br />

something you really want.<br />

This is why it’s important to set<br />

a realistic budget. If you make<br />

small achievable financial goals<br />

and stick to your budget, you<br />

can experience success.<br />

We all know money is stressful,<br />

especially when we feel it’s not<br />

under control. Creating a budget<br />

for yourself will give you back<br />

your control and will empower<br />

you to achieve your goals.<br />

The Australian Government’s<br />

MoneySmart website has a range of<br />

accessible budgeting tools to help<br />

you get started. You can find these at<br />

www.moneysmart.gov.au/managingyour-money/budgeting


Your Health<br />

Healthy<br />

eating<br />

on a budget<br />

With the price of food rising,<br />

eating healthily while trying<br />

to stick to a budget can be<br />

challenging. But with a little<br />

planning and some useful<br />

tips, buying and preparing<br />

delicious healthy food on a<br />

budget is not as hard as it<br />

may seem!<br />

Before you hit the supermarket sit down and write a shopping<br />

list. This will help you to avoid buying items you don’t need.<br />

Check out the recipes from Smart Eating <strong>–</strong> many are both<br />

delicious and cheap. Remember you can always cook more<br />

than you need and freeze the rest for another meal.<br />

Is healthy food more expensive?<br />

If you’ve ever thought that eating healthy is more expensive,<br />

then you’re not alone! Take a closer look at the foods you buy<br />

<strong>–</strong> sometimes processed foods are actually more expensive.<br />

Shop for fresh foods where possible, or in the case of fruit and<br />

vegetables, see if frozen and canned varieties are cheaper.<br />

This will help lower your grocery bill and help to keep your<br />

trolley full of healthy foods.<br />

Check out the price differences below:<br />

Potatoes<br />

A serve of potato is one<br />

medium potato <strong>–</strong> or 150g:<br />

Potatoes per 150g<br />

= 50c<br />

Frozen chips per 150g<br />

= 70c<br />

Potato chips per 150g<br />

= $3.75<br />

Breakfast products<br />

A serve of cereal is 1/4<br />

cup of muesli, 2/3 cup<br />

of breakfast flakes or 1/2<br />

cup cooked porridge <strong>–</strong> or<br />

roughly 30g:<br />

Rolled oats per 30g<br />

= 15c<br />

Corn flakes per 30g<br />

= 60c<br />

muesli/cereal bar per 30g<br />

= $1.50<br />

Chicken<br />

A serve of chicken is 100g<br />

(raw):<br />

Frozen whole chicken per<br />

100g = 60c<br />

Raw whole chicken per<br />

100g = 66c<br />

BBQ chicken per 100g<br />

= 80c<br />

Pre-made chicken kebabs<br />

per 100g = $1.70<br />

Snacks<br />

Apple per 100g<br />

= 0.60c<br />

Packet of sultanas per 40g<br />

= 0.50c<br />

Fruit bar/strap 50g<br />

= $0.95<br />

Chocolate bar per 50g<br />

= $2.15<br />

You can buy twice the<br />

amount of apples for the<br />

same or less money as<br />

other snacks!<br />

This article is republished with permission from the Dietitians Association of Australia<br />

If you’re after more nutrition information, the Dietitians Association of Australia website provides a range of Smart<br />

Eating Fast Facts on all things nutrition. For personalised nutrition advice, find an Accredited Practising Dietitian, who<br />

can assist you in reaching your health and nutrition goals.<br />

23


Your Health<br />

Let 's talk about<br />

Cyberbullying<br />

Bullying is not acceptable<br />

in the real world, but these<br />

days bullies have a new<br />

forum: the internet. Bullying<br />

that takes place over<br />

the internet is known as<br />

cyberbullying, and it can<br />

lead to depression and<br />

anxiety in the real world.<br />

Cyberbullying can take many<br />

forms. It can include:<br />

• Sending or sharing hurtful<br />

messages or emails<br />

• Humiliating someone<br />

by posting or sharing<br />

embarrassing videos or<br />

images<br />

• Spreading rumours or lies<br />

online<br />

• Setting up fake online profiles<br />

to hurt someone<br />

• Excluding others online<br />

• Repeated harassment and<br />

threatening messages,<br />

which is also known as<br />

cyberstalking<br />

Cyberbullying can be as hurtful<br />

as physical or verbal bullying<br />

because it is public, it can<br />

spread quickly, removing it can<br />

be difficult and the bully can be<br />

anonymous.<br />

Anyone can be the victim<br />

of cyberbullying. It’s not just<br />

for children and teenagers,<br />

although young people are at<br />

higher risk, both because they<br />

tend to spend more time online,<br />

and because they are less likely<br />

to speak up and tell someone<br />

about the bullying. One in four<br />

students in Australia reports that<br />

they have been bullied, so if you<br />

are experiencing cyberbullying<br />

you are not alone.<br />

If you suspect that you, or<br />

someone you care about, are<br />

the victim of online bullying,<br />

what should you do?<br />

First, take a deep breath and<br />

remember: it is not your fault.<br />

You are not alone in this, and<br />

there is help available. There are<br />

some practical steps you can<br />

take to access help. You can:<br />

• Tell the bully that what they’re<br />

doing is not okay<br />

• Take screenshots of the<br />

bullying as evidence<br />

• Block the bully on social<br />

media<br />

• Report abusive posts to the<br />

social media platform<br />

If the posts are not taken down,<br />

or the bullying continues,<br />

you can report cyberbullying<br />

to the Office of the eSafety<br />

Commissioner. This is where<br />

having screenshots for evidence<br />

will come in handy. Children<br />

and adults will need to report<br />

through different forms,<br />

because the legalities around<br />

cyberbullying are different for<br />

minors and adults, but anyone<br />

who has experienced ongoing<br />

cyberbullying can make a report.<br />

The final practical step you can<br />

take is to look after yourself.<br />

Tell people around you what is<br />

going on, so they can support<br />

you. Commiserating with a friend<br />

can lighten the load, even if<br />

they can’t do anything to fix your<br />

situation. Switch off from social<br />

media for a while, and take<br />

time to do the things you enjoy.<br />

Don’t let cyberbullying isolate<br />

you <strong>–</strong> that’s how the bullies<br />

win. Instead, gather your team<br />

around you and remember that<br />

“haters gonna hate”.<br />

To find out more or to report a case<br />

of cyberbullying, visit<br />

www.eSafety.gov.au<br />

24


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At Optimum Medical we understand<br />

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<strong>25</strong>


Innovations<br />

Trial giving independence to<br />

Victorians injured in crashes<br />

A trial of new technology<br />

to help Victorians who<br />

have been seriously injured<br />

in road accidents to live<br />

independently is underway<br />

as part of a partnership<br />

between the Transport<br />

Accident Commission (TAC)<br />

and Deakin University.<br />

TAC’s Head of Independence,<br />

Liz Cairns, recently visited<br />

the home of trial participant<br />

Josh Taylor to see how the<br />

technology, developed by the<br />

university’s Applied Artificial<br />

Intelligence Institute, is<br />

being trialled to improve the<br />

independence and quality of life<br />

of TAC clients. Mr Taylor, who<br />

sustained a severe traumatic<br />

brain injury in a two-car collision<br />

in 2005 when he was 19, is one<br />

of four TAC clients taking part in<br />

the trial.<br />

Using small sensors installed<br />

throughout a home, the<br />

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of their daily routine. The<br />

technology can detect<br />

anomalies that negatively impact<br />

the resident’s health and then<br />

prompt them if they forget<br />

normal daily activities, such as<br />

taking their medication.<br />

The technology can identify if<br />

something goes wrong in the<br />

home and help detect falls. In<br />

these cases, if a resident fails<br />

to respond to Sofihub prompts,<br />

carers or medical professionals<br />

will be automatically alerted.<br />

The trial is being supported<br />

by Monash University through<br />

the input of an occupational<br />

therapist who works with TAC<br />

clients to ensure the technology<br />

is customised to their needs.<br />

Ms Cairns said about 5000<br />

Victorians are seriously injured<br />

on Victorian roads each year<br />

and about 90 of those are<br />

affected by quadriplegia or<br />

severe acquired brain injury.<br />

“The trial of the Sofihub sensor<br />

and audio technology is a part<br />

of the TAC’s commitment to<br />

continually look at innovative<br />

ways to increase the<br />

independence of Victorians<br />

who are seriously injured on our<br />

roads.<br />

“This trial has the potential to<br />

significantly increase the ability<br />

of TAC clients to have a greater<br />

level of autonomy in their dayto-day<br />

living, and provide them<br />

with a better quality of life.<br />

“If successful, this technology<br />

has the ability to be rolled out<br />

across the state to benefit<br />

thousands of Victorians,” she<br />

said.<br />

Sofihub is also being trialled<br />

in the aged care sector in<br />

Geelong, to help people remain<br />

in their homes as they age.<br />

However, this is the first time it<br />

has been trialled by people who<br />

have a disability.<br />

Depending on the outcome<br />

of the $60,000 six-month trial,<br />

Sofihub may be adopted by<br />

other TAC clients.<br />

26


your<br />

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Independence Australia is a:<br />

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Our services include:<br />

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1300 704 456<br />

service.enquiry@iagroup.org.au<br />

www.independenceaustralia.com.au<br />

independenceaust<br />

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