Occupational Therapists are trained to help people overcome limitations caused by injury or illness and their goal is to assist people to move towards independence and an improved well-being and quality of life. Your Occupational Therapist will assess your abilities and lifestyle, consult with you, your family and your health care providers and develop and treatment program to best suit your needs and capabilities. Your occupational therapist will assist you to adjust to your new physical condition so that you can actively participate in day-to-day life (eg. personal care, education/training, employment, social / recreational activities). Your Occupational Therapist is also responsible for sourcing wheelchairs and other mobility supports, assess your home / workplace and make recommendations and arrangements for adaptation / refurbishment (eg. putting in ramps for wheelchair access) and also arrange specialised driving / vehicle training and modifications.
A social worker works with individuals to assist them to realise their intellectual, physical and emotional potential. Social workers are professionals who advocate for disadvantaged members of society and work with individuals and groups to shape and change the conditions in which they live. Your social worker will work with you and your family to determine what psychological, community and government support you require during rehabilitation and as you move into independent living. A social worker is normally assigned to you by your rehabilitation centre, and is usually employed by the centre or by a relevant government department. Social workers can provide a range of support, including (but not limited to) housing assistance, government benefits advice, home support, determining eligibility for concession transportation discounts and concessions and provision of disability parking permits.
Physiotherapists assess, treat and prevent disorders in human movement caused by injury and disease. Your physiotherapist will assist you to regain your balance, flexibility, strength and stamina, and design an exercise program tailored to your capabilities and requirements. Your exercise program may include the use of gym facilities and sessions in a hydrotherapy pool. Your physiotherapist will work with you and teach you to use artificial limbs, wheel chairs and other movement devices safely, effectively and comfortably. If you have had a leg/s amputated, your Physiotherapist will also teach you the transfer method that will enable you to move around safely.
A prosthetist is a specialist in designing, fitting and fabricating artificial limbs. Your prosthetist will be responsible for the design, construction, supply and fitting of your prosthesis (artificial limb). Your prosthetist will work with you and your relevant health care providers to evaluate the most appropriate artificial limb and related components for your requirements. Because our bodies and needs change over time, and artificial limbs can get worn or damaged, it is likely that your prosthesis will need periodic adjustments or replacement. As such, relationships with prosthetists often last over many years, and over time both you and your prosthetist will gain a better understanding about what is right for you. Some amputees are, naturally, quite concerned about the initial and ongoing costs associated with the fitting and supply of an artificial limb. In some legitimate workplace or transport accidents some or all costs may be covered by a relevant insurance company. In other cases, costs may be covered by the public health system or your own private health insurance fund. If you are unsure about your entitlements, speak to your health care provider.