Individuals who suffer from a debilitating disability have to rely on people they know and trust to assist them with their daily life.
Even the most basic of tasks can become arduous and without that network of people around them, attempting to return to work to gain their independence can become an uphill battle.
Since the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by the Australian government, there are more direct pathways to accessing a specialist for those that suffer from an ailment.
Sourcing a therapist through NDIS occupational therapy is now a task that is paramount to the short and long-term health of the patient.
There is always a physical and mental element to these initiatives, requiring health professionals to manage the emotional and psychological factors that are evident when patients are put through this process.
So how can patients choose a therapist that is right for them?
What are the signs to look out for?
Let us examine these points in more detail.
Permanent or Temporary
There are two key categories that are involved with NDIS occupational therapy – those patients who are suffering from a temporary ailment or a permanent one. The occupational therapist will need to demonstrate that they can cater a plan to match that requirement, including comprehensive care for severe cases or casual intervention for those that are managing towards rehabilitation.
Goals and Targets Set
It is vital that any provider in the field of NDIS occupational therapy be able to transparently walk through the targets and objectives that are set out for the patient. These are goals that cannot be set alone by the therapist, but must be implemented in accordance with the individual who is seeking to improve their health. It will not only be a matter of outlining what targets are to be reached but how they will be reached.
Suitable Amount of Contact and Communication
NDIS occupational therapy providers must make themselves present as often as appropriate given the nature of the plan. That connection and relationship is fundamental to ensuring that the patient can continue with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they have a therapist who is guiding them through the process each and every step of the way. It should not be a burden or overzealous contact, but enough to illustrate that the therapist and patient are working in synchronicity.
Experience with Similar Patients
There is little worth locating an NDIS occupational therapy specialist if they have little to no experience dealing with a patient under similar circumstances. From spinal injuries to intellectual impairments, autism or visual disabilities, there must be an accredited professional provided who has an extensive portfolio working with patients matching that description.
The final facet that must be considered when opting for a therapist under the NDIS occupational therapy process is based on price. There will be rates prescribed by state governments across the country that will outline what the industry specifications are in these circumstances.
Depending on their specialty and the type of therapy they issue, experts can charge patients anywhere from $100 per hour to $300 per hour or above, with each case being unique. Plans are formulated from industry standards and can be subsidized if there is appropriate insurance coverage.
The final point that any patient should consider when scouring the market for an NDIS occupational therapy specialist is their registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. So long as they are an operator who has the correct and updated certifications, then the other benchmarks can be judged accordingly.
Open a dialogue with friends, family members and colleagues to expand your horizons and see if you can obtain first hand accounts of their services. Those steps will help to create a more complete picture of the industry at large, and hopefully set you on a path to a trusted and accredited disability provider.