Supporting participation, inclusion and independence

Posted on Monday, October 25, 2021

This year's theme for Occupational Therapy Week is about participation, inclusion and independence, and celebrates the role occupational therapists play in supporting people of all abilities to engage in activities they find meaningful.

Brightwater’s Occupational Therapists play an integral role in enabling our clients to live well and be as independent as they can.

Our Occupational Therapist, Gill Smith, has been conducting driver assessments for nearly a decade, and is passionate about helping people to feel safe on the road.

“The ability to drive is a very emotive topic, and I am passionate about helping people to feel supported through their driver assessment,” Gill said.

As an Occupational Therapist, Gill’s role breaks down an activity, in this case driving, by looking at the skills needed for the activity. The driver assessment consists of an off-road and on-road assessment, assessing your physical movements, vision and thinking skills.

After the assessment, a recommendation will be made to the person’s doctor and the Department of Transport on their fitness to drive. Potential recommendations include no changes to a license, minor changes to a license (such as adding a condition that you wear suitable visual aids when driving) and/or driving rehabilitation. The Department of Transport will make the final decision.

“If you are safe to continue driving, we want to support you to do so, so that you feel like you have your independence on the road.

“If you are unable to continue driving, it isn’t the end! We can help you retire from driving, and transition to using different methods of transport.

“Ultimately, I feel that my role is about keeping people safe on the road.”

If there has been a change in the medical condition of yourself or someone you love, it might be time to think about getting a driver assessment by an Occupational Therapist, to assess your ability to drive safely.

If you would like an assessment, talk to your doctor who will be able to give you a written referral.

Once you have the referral, give us a call on 1300 223 968 or speak to your Brightwater at Home Coordinator, and we can talk you through the details and book you in. You may have the option to utilise your Home Care Package funding, or you can pay directly.