The NORTH Foundation has been hard at work with Occupational Therapy teams across the District and staff from the Penney Ageing Unit to develop a Christmas campaign focused on raising funds for innovative rehabilitation technology and research into optimised ageing for the elderly.
There has been an increasing demand for occupational therapy services across the District, and recent trials using innovative rehabilitation technology have proven successful in facilitating faster recovery period for patients.
Robotic equipment, like the Tyromotion Diego, SaeboReJoyce and Pablo, incorporate gamification into traditional occupational therapy exercises and patients are able to play interactive and stimulating video games while undertaking repetitive exercises to help them regain movement in their upper limbs.
Ryde Hospital patient Rowan shared with us his experience using advanced rehabilitation technology and the difference it made to his recovery. Earlier this year and seemingly out of the blue, Rowan was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome – an attack on his nerves by his body’s own defence system which left him paralysed.
Rowan was pleased to be part of a trial group using the SaeboReJoyce:
“The fact it was game-based brought an additional challenge and change because it can get a little boring doing small movements for hours every day. The range of motion you can experience playing different games is helpful.”
It has taken three months of hard work, but Rowan recently walked without crutches for the first time since his diagnosis. He is also thrilled that he’s now strong enough to pick up his toddler in time for Christmas.
Gilbert Lorquet, Chief Executive of the NORTH Foundation, said
“Supporting equipment and technology that improves patient care and medical teams delivering efficient and effective treatment is one of our top priorities. Given the impact patients have described, this is clearly a worthy cause!”
The Christmas appeal is also raising funds to support research within the Penney Ageing Unit at the Kolling Institute focused on improving healthcare to optimise ageing.
Australia has an ageing population, with Northern Sydney having one of the oldest populations. Currently one in five older people take at least one drug where the risks of harm outweigh the benefits. However, if recognised and understood, the impairments from drug effects are largely reversible.
Head of the Lab, Professor Sarah Hilmer, said:
“We have developed a tool for clinicians, called the Drug Burden Index (DBI), to guide the safer use of medicines. However, we need further support to extend our research and help ensure that clinicians across our local health district and ultimately across Australia have access the DBI”.
We encourage you to help support your colleagues within Occupational Therapy and the Penney Ageing Unit by spreading the word about our Christmas appeals and fostering community engagement.
If you or someone you know would like to support the Christmas Appeal please visit: https://northfoundation.org.au/how-you-can-help/donate/