Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists are health professionals who enable people to improve their health and wellbeing, and address the limitations of injury, illness or health conditions. Occupational Therapy (OT) is a person-centred practice that assists individuals and organisations progress towards their goals.

At Free Range Therapy we have extensive experience in assisting people of all ages working in a wide range of occupations, achieve their desired goals in living an independent and healthy life.  Our Occupational Therapy services include:

Worksite Assessment

shutterstock_143615824A worksite assessment includes assessment of ergonomic factors and examines broader issues in the workplace, including identifying suitable work duties and ways of modifying work demands to facilitate a safe return to work or to minimise risk to you and the business. Worksite assessments may also recommend physical modifications to an office, such as the installation of ramps or rails, to support you returning to work after an injury.

Occasions when worksite assessments are used include:

  • If you want increased comfort and safety at work with reduced stress and less wear & tear on your body
  • If you have recently experienced an injury; and/or if you have long-term chronic injury or illness
  • If you are experiencing pain, discomfort and/or fatigue throughout the day
  • To clarify suitable duties for staff who have medical restrictions not expressed in a meaningful way for the workplace.
Job Demand Analysis

A Job Demand Analysis (JDA) or Physical Demand Analysis is an objective method of documenting and evaluating of the physical, cognitive and environmental demands of the essential and non-essential tasks of a job.  It describes the demands of the job not the individual performing the job.

The job demand analysis is an essential base for:

  • A post offer employment screen to verify that the physical demands are met by the applicant
  • Providing your business with a detailed job description which may assist with hiring applicants able to perform the physical and cognitive requirements of the job and reasonable determination of accommodations for those qualified candidates with a disability
  • In the event of an injury to your employee, it provides valuable information for the physician to make thoughtful job restrictions if necessary.

 Functional Capacity Evaluation

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a one-time objective, valid and reliable evaluation of an individual’s ability to perform physical work demands and skills. 

Achieving vocational goals is not wholly dependent on an individual’s skills and knowledge.  Reaching your full potential in the workplace can also be helped along the way with the right job fit for your physical capacity.  At Free Range Therapy, we carry out specialist functional capacity evaluations to identify areas including tolerance to functional activities (lifting, carrying etc.), endurance and functional range of movement, that can be improved or accommodated to unlock the door to future success.  Once those areas are identified, we can provide the appropriate exercises and stretches, job-matching and workplace modification services to help maximise potential.

As an employer you want to make sure that you are hiring people who can handle the physical demands of your workplace, that an injured worker is not doing more harm to themselves and that physical capabilities of your prospective employees align with specific job demands for your workplace. Ultimately, we can help you to ensure you have a safer working environment, reduction in workplace injuries, minimised downtime and a reduction in Workers Compensation claims and insurance costs.

Home Visit/Assessment

If you or your physician is concerned about your safety at home or the safety of someone for whom you are caring, our occupational therapists can conduct a thorough assessment of your home.  We will provide recommendations and equipment intervention where required to increase your safety at home.  This can be pre/post hospital admission.  Home visits assist in the independence of people finding difficulty with activities of daily activities such as managing self-care, managing at home and/or recreation and leisure activities, including persons with dementia.  We can assess your  home for safety risks and can create home modifications reports for handymen/builders (e.g. install grab rails, fix up stair handrails, widen doorways, install doorway ramps, lower microwaves and kitchen benches, and install tailored bathroom safety equipment).

We work with you to:

  • Assess and modify the home environment to improve independence and safety

  • Provide advice about appropriate aids and equipment

  • Provide advice and information about community resources and supports

  • Adapt to changes that have occurred due to chronic illness or aging.

Disability Access for Business

Almost 4 million Australians have a disability and about half of people aged over 55 have difficulty with their mobility, hearing or vision.  If we add their families, friends and colleagues the number of people affected by a disability is exponentially larger.  Each of these people is a potential customer, client and employee.

Accessible buildings and services for both employees and customers not only makes good business sense, it also helps businesses and service providers to meet existing legal responsibilities under discrimination law.

At Free Range Therapy, we can assess your workplace or business and discuss with you, your obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and associated disability standards for premises.  We can then provide you with the necessary recommendations and, as occupational therapists, we are fully qualified to design building modifications to enhance disability access, all to Australian standards.  These may include:

  • Access ramps
  • Wheelchair accessible toilets, entries and doorways
  • Lifts and hoists

In the case of employing someone with a disability, you may be eligible for a free audit through the Australian Government’s JobAccess initiative.

Disability Awareness Training for Business

Do your employees know when to provide assistance to a customer with a disability and when not to, to ensure the dignity of that person is maintained?  Do they know what assistance is required and how to provide assistance without causing unwanted attention to that person?  At Free Range Therapy we provide with disability awareness training and disability action planning that is practical, interactive and will give you the confidence to welcome people with a disability to your venue or programme, provide inclusive experiences and services and make accessibility a natural and integrated part of what you do.

Injury Prevention Training

Free Range Therapy provides training in injury prevention and will customize any training session to meet your individual needs.

Popular seminar topics include:

 Manual Materials Handling Training

shutterstock_249435568Free Range Therapy has developed a unique and specific approach to manual handling training of materials to ensure it reflects your organisation’s individual requirements.

Our training is designed for people who are required to carry out manual handling in their day-to-day work and can be fully customised to ensure its relevance to your business requirements.  Typically the training will cover the following topics:

  • Risk assessments and risk management
  • Legislation, standards and code of practice
  • Planning and workplace procedures
  • Safe manual handling principles and techniques

We look at prevention of injury by coupling the training with the proper use of injury prevention techniques such as:

  • Joint/limb stretches and exercises
  • The use of workable ergonomics in the home and workplace
  • Analysis of work tasks and strategies to reduce the risk of injury

Our primary focus is to supply you and your employees with the necessary prevention techniques and tools to eliminate the risks before it is too late. For us, it is important that you have the knowledge to apply this information so that you can prevent the pain, suffering and debilitation associated with workplace injuries.

 Safe Patient Handling Training

Poor manual handling practice is one of the most common causes of injury in the health care industry.  These injuries are frequently severe and can lead to chronic problems.

Free Range Therapy training courses will teach you and your staff how to safely identify, plan and perform manual handling tasks to assist in maintaining an injury-free workplace.  By decreasing the biomechanical overload risk, your staff’s working conditions will improve, work-related illness and injury will be limited, as well as the consequent costs and absenteeism.  We focus on patients’ care quality, safety, dignity and privacy as regards their needs, including specific personal care and hygiene.

Our training courses are intended for all caregivers and workers involved in healthcare manual handling and, in particular, healthcare managers and employees, occupational safety and health caregivers, producers of assistive devices and equipment, education and training supervisors, and designers of healthcare facilities.

 Caregiver Empowerment Training

It has been said that are just four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers; those who are caregivers; those who will be caregivers; and those who will need caregivers.  Caregivers are often unprepared for the physical and emotional demands of caring for someone with a disability, illness, or frail family member, spouse, or friend.

Intense stressors and burdens can occur as a result of caring for a client, friend or family member.  The role of caregiver can often lead to changes in your habits, routines and roles.  Taking on the role of caregiver can lead to occupational deprivation, imbalance and disruption and requires increased distribution of time, energy and finances. Our occupational therapists are able to propose several interventions in order to help you develop some sort of occupational balance and provide you with suitable support systems and resources. The amount of supervision you provide to the person you are caring for depends on their needs.  We will assist you in determining the appropriate amount of supervision needed by the person you are caring for, which will allow them to become as functional as possible and reduce your stress.

Other Services include:
  • Specific recommendations regarding home safety, home modification training, energy conservation, support systems and stress management
  • Specific modification to the home
  • Suggesting adaptive equipment that is appropriate for the person receiving care in order to increase his or her independence.  These may include: re-arranging furniture in the home, adding a grab rail and shower chair in the bathroom, utilizing bedside table and adding railing inside the home
  • Providing you with basic skills of moving and handling the person you are caring for and facilitation of activities of daily living,