Occupational Therapy

Delivering Effective Rural NDIS Occupational Therapy Services: A Personal Perspective

May 29, 2023

When we think of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), our focus often leans toward the metropolitan areas where resources and services are more easily accessible. However, an equally critical, but frequently overlooked, population is that of our rural areas. Rural NDIS Occupational Therapy plays a significant role in delivering specialised services to these communities. Mikaela, a seasoned occupational therapist, shares her insights about her work in these regions.

Mikaela’s passion for the rural community is deeply rooted in her background. “I have a rural background and enjoy the practical, no-nonsense way of the country people. They are friendly, welcoming, and warm; despite often experiencing a hard life with a lot of different challenges,” Mikaela notes. From battling droughts, floods, and fires, to dealing with remoteness and limited access to essential services, rural communities epitomise resilience.

Despite these challenges, rural individuals embrace change, persevere through adversity, and show deep appreciation for the assistance they receive. Mikaela’s passion is driven by the resolve of these communities. She says, “I feel people living and working in rural and remote areas understand and appreciate the help they are able to receive and I am passionate about achieving the best outcome for them.”

Rural NDIS Occupational Therapy assessments, however, are notably different from those conducted in metropolitan areas. Primarily, considerations must be made for the vast distances rural clients may have to travel to access local communities and specialised services.

Mikaela explains, “There is serious consideration needed for their access to supplies and equipment, as it is difficult to reach the rural and remote areas. It is important to get these things right from the start.” Planning for rural support requires forethought and meticulous attention to detail. After all, follow-ups may often have to be remote, making it more challenging to provide effective support.

Contrastingly, in metropolitan areas, health services are considerably more accessible, a privilege that is often taken for granted. “There are often so little resources available in rural and remote areas. I am passionate about doing what I can to close the gap in access to health care in rural and remote areas,” Mikaela states.

Mikaela’s ability to assess and support rural clients effectively comes from her personal experiences. “I come from a large and loving family of graziers, cane farmers, and poultry farmers; and I have been surrounded by these characters all my life.” This upbringing has shaped her understanding and perspective, enabling her to think outside the box and cater to each person’s unique situation.

Throughout her career, Mikaela has made significant strides in rural and remote areas, helping individuals access essential equipment and improving their lives dramatically. “It was wonderful being part of that change!” she exclaims.

Delivering effective Rural NDIS Occupational Therapy Services requires an intimate understanding of the rural lifestyle and the unique challenges it presents. Occupational therapists like Mikaela play an indispensable role in this sector, using their skills and experience to transform the lives of rural residents.