Assistive Devices - the need to become independent | Western Cape Government


Assistive Devices - the need to become independent

9 June 2005

Assistive Device
Assistive Devices make people more independent.
Everyday, across the province, healthcare professional are trying their utmost best to deliver quality care and improve the quality of life. These days they have a bit of help from a somewhat forgotten "helper".

Call them buggies, wheelchairs or K-walker - these devices support the occupant and it helps them to function optimally. What makes the buggy so unique is that it can be build in custom size to fit perfectly to ensure they do not develop secondary complications. They even come with a support board, which helps the patient in feeling confidant and self-sufficient.

The Physiotherapy department at Red Cross Children's Hospital is using every ounce of energy and equipment in making the lives of their patients more self-sufficient. "We have to make every effort to equip our disabled children with every facility and assistance, which will empower them to become as independent as possible," said Asha Parbhoo, head of the physiotherapy department.

Historically it was the role of the social workers in the hospital to manage the issuing of assestive devices. Subsequently the physiotherapy department inherited the list of children requiring assistive devices. At the time, there were approximately 200 children on the waiting lists, some of whom were waiting for as assistive device for nine years.

Since this department has taken up the challenge, the need for these devices has been ever growing. "Protocols and criteria were drawn up for the issuing of wheelchairs, buggies, and K walkers," said Parbhoo. Since January 2000 a total of 552 assistive devices have been issued.

Friends of the Children's Hospital have supplied the hospital with 25 devices as well as custom devices and an electronic wheelchair while The March Ladies donated 11 wheelchairs to the department.

Issued by:
Communications Directorate
Office of the Superintendent-General of Health
Western Cape
Provincial Department of Health

Faiza Steyn
Director: Communications
Tel: 021 483 3235
Fax: 021 483 6169

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