Motivation for Equipment

Motivation for Equipment

One of the key roles of an occupational therapist / physiotherapist (and in the case of communication speech therapists), is ensuring that a person with an injury or illness can be as independent in daily living and mobility tasks. This involves matching the person’s abilities and adapting the environment or equipment to maximise their functioning.

Equipment that may be necessary can broadly be classified as:

  • Assistive devices – these include items used in daily tasks e.g. adapted cutlery, devices to assist with writing / computer use, manufacturing of splints to improve functioning, devices to assist with self-care tasks, adapted kitchen equipment, adaptive leisure equipment.
  • Mobility / adaptive equipment e.g. wheelchairs, wheelchair cushions, bathing aids, commodes / toileting aids, walking aids, driving adaptations, electrical stimulators that promote mobility function.
  • Home adaptations – recommendations on making your home accessible e.g. bathroom adaptations, installation of ramps, placement of furniture, installation of stairlifts, reducing risks of falling, kitchen adaptations
  • Computerised devices – use of devices for communication e.g. AAC or cognitive strategies.

It is important to individualise the selection of assistive devices or adaptive equipment to ensure the best fit for the person’s functioning. Buying items “off the shelf” is not recommended without advice from the treating professionals. This often results in poor fitment or has the risk of causing complications such as pressure sores or problems with posture in the long term.

The process may involve trialling different equipment or devices during the rehabilitation process before making a final decision and may involve seeing pictures of the home or doing a home assessment.

The therapy team will work with various companies that supply equipment and take into consideration the funding available to find the best match for each person. When needed they will assist to provide written motivation to funders to access the necessary funding.

Collaboration between the person with the illness / injury, their family, the therapy team, the equipment suppliers and the funders is a key part of making sure the correct equipment or adaptations are provided to ensure maximal functioning.