Sally was referred to an Occupational Therapist (OT) as she was struggling to hear on the phone and was losing contact with her family and friends, she was wanting any help that could be useful following challenges since her car accident.  

She has:

Ankylosing spondylitis (which is an illness that stiffens up the joints),

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and is a little hard of hearing.

Fracture in her upper back from a car accident in     2015

Sally lives in a 2 storied home on a hill in native bush with her husband.
She loves her home and gardening.  Due to a combination of Ankylosing spondylitis and the recent upperback fracture Sally has a forward flexed spine, requiring her to bend her knees to look up. 

The OT visited Sally in her own home and covered the following info on the first assessment:

1. Energy conserving techniques

2. Regular postural changes to self manage back discomfort 

3. Problem solving Sally’s kitchen set up to minimise bending and reaching

4. Problem solved better phone options and also where to buy a cordless amplified phone

5. Adjusting her office set up to optimise function when using computer

6. Having raised garden beds and garden pots on her deck,

7. Changes in social life since accident and covered the 5 ways to Mental Wellbeing to maximise mental wellness.

Sally feels very connected to her two storied home, which is surrounded by native bush, situated on a hill. The OT discussed the challenges and solutions to remain living in this home long term and provided insights into ways to manage this including the potential of living on one level, use of the community van and possible bathroom adaptations.

Summary from Sally’s perspective:
Sally reports that she was delighted with the services as:
- the OT  came to her house and at a time of day and day of week that suited Sally best. 
- there was no waiting for the service - seen within the week of referral.  
- it was so affordable - $135 assessment and advice
- she received good advice that immediately changed her daily life (so much more
than improving communication by phone)
- she now has clear understanding of both the challenges and solutions that
may lie ahead of her.
- This resulted in less worry about the future
- She was impressed that the discussion involved her love for nature (still be
able to enjoy her garden) and that it wa not limited to immediate need and
safety

She expressed that she feels more confident about staying in her much
loved home.  She is aware of how to access future input from the OT who now knows her well.  

 300 Colombo Street, Christchurch, Phone 3772577, fax 3775803,

Web seniorwellbeing.nz, email: stayinyourhome@seniorwellbeing.nz

   A Case Study