Occupational Therapist Kate Sterrenberg has generously offered her expertise to PACT in a voluntary capacity for a morning each Friday until the end of this year.
We would like to extend a big and warm welcome to Kate. Kate is a local OT with extensive experience supporting people living with Parkinson’s. Through her work with Uniting she is providing four days a week home and community OT care to clients in the aged care sector. You may recall reading about Uniting's education and wellness Parkinson’s program in our June Bulletin. You can learn more about this program at www.parkinsonsact.org.au/post/afternoon-tea-with-the-ot.
Kate will be known to some of our members through her earlier collaboration with Nancy Tingey's Painting with Parkinsons program. Kate is also a visual artist and it was her involvement with our Painting group that piqued her professional interest and personal connection to those living with Parkinson’s and the significant benefits of such programs.
Kate will use her time with us over the coming months to get to know PACT members and our support groups, to gain an in-depth understanding of needs and priorities, and to raise awareness and education on the role of OTs in supporting wellbeing and quality of life for people living with Parkinson's. Kate will also build awareness of and provide information about government and private services that are available to and could benefit PACT members, and referral pathways in the ACT.
Kate’s work over this period will inform how PACT might draw on more comprehensive OT services for our members as we consider our funding options for a potential part time OT role in 2021. Our success with this exciting development will depend in great part on PACT member's support and willingness to meet with Kate and share their experiences and suggestions about what would make a difference to improving the quality of their lives.
Members might not be familiar with the types of skills and services that OTs provide. They focus on practical measures to promote health and wellbeing by enabling people to participate in the everyday activities of life, such as self-care activities including showering, dressing, preparing food; activities such as education, work, volunteering and caring for others; and leisure/social activities, such as being part of a community group, engaging in a hobby, and being part of a friendship group.
Occupational therapists play a particularly crucial role in enabling people experiencing mobility challenges to identify and implement methods that promote their independence and support their participation in a range of daily activities and in the workplace. This may include the use of appropriate aids and equipment and modifying an activity or an environment.
If you have questions or need to discuss your needs, Kate can be contacted Friday mornings between 9am and 12pm on mobile: 0466 687 532 or by email: OT@parkinsonsact.org.au.