What to Expect from Occupational Therapy NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme offers those with a lasting and significant disability funding to help support their needs. This includes accessing occupational therapy funded by NDIS.
An OT is a trained, university-educated practitioner who specializes in helping people overcome challenges in order to partake in daily activities. They are practiced in a range of areas, such as goal-setting, pain management, mental health, driving assessments, rehabilitation and determining home and vehicle modifications. An occupational therapy NDIS can aid make life easier for people with disabilities.
If you or someone you know is planning on receiving occupational therapy funded by NDIS, there are certain things you might want to know about the service, such as its goals, benefits and drawbacks.
What are the aims of OT?
OT aims to determine an individual’s ideal outcomes and goals and then figure out what support is required to achieve this. Support may involve a range of services, modifications and specialised accommodation. Using a thorough understanding of how disability affects performance in daily activities, OTs are able to effectively improve a person’s situation.
The overall aim of occupational therapy funded by NDIS is to help a person become as independent as they can be. From improving their ability to engage in self-care practices to sharpening mental abilities, the goals of the OT are as varied as the individuals they are working with. Each treatment plan is unique and specially catered for the individual’s specific needs.
Occupational therapy funded by NDIS is ongoing and will last until the person achieves their outcomes, or until it is believed that they have done the best that they can. When skills in one area, such as improved mobility, are mastered, the OT will then focus on developing other skills necessary for increased independence.
The advantages of occupational therapy funded by NDIS:
The major advantage of OT is its ability to help people build, reclaim or maintain day-to-day living skills. This ensures that people can lead independent, rewarding and productive lives and participate in their local community and the world at large.
OT also offers a range of measurable benefits, where progress is clearly visible. This ranges from witnessing a person’s ability to participate in self-care activities independently, to a person’s ability to enter the workforce.
Other advantages of occupational therapy funded by NDIS include:
- Improvement of sensory integration and processing
- Improved social skills and relationships
- Deeper engagement in meaningful activities, such as art-making or volunteering
- Reduction of environmental barriers to participation in daily activities
- Assistive technology to support and make life easier
- Improved ability to deal with shifts in routines and roles
- Improved education on behalf of the individual and their family
- Increased mobility
The disadvantages of occupational therapy funded by NDIS:
While the benefits of OT generally outweigh the drawbacks, there are some concerns that should be considered before engaging in the program. These include:
- Costs related to continued care
- Time commitments to the program
- How the treatment will affect other family members
When establishing a treatment plan, it is vital that expectations are discussed with the OT. These expectations may need to be adjusted over time as the person makes progress. It is only using periodic assessments of the treatment that you can evaluate how much of a positive impact it is having on the person’s quality of life.
Other things to consider include:
Those who are aged under 65 and possess a disability which impacts their ability to engage in day-to-day activities may be eligible for occupational therapy funded by NDIS. It is currently unavailable for those over the age of 65, although if a person turns 65 after they have already been approved to participate in the scheme, they can still be funded. There is an eligibility checklist available online which can help determine eligibility.
Finding an OT
To find a suitable OT, the person must first be approved by the National Diabetes Insurance Scheme. Once this is done, the person will work with a planner or coordinator to establish an individualized support plan. There is a list of occupational therapy NDIS providers available on the National Diabetes Insurance Scheme website. People who want to self-manage their funding can access services from OTs who are not registered with the scheme.
Availability of services in your area
Occupational therapy funded by NDIS is offered in many locations across Australia (now including parts of Western Australia). Check the scheme’s official website to find out if you can access services in your area. In certain regions you may need to meet the minimum age requirements in order to access the scheme. By 2020, every eligible Australian who has a disability will be able to access OT under the scheme.
Occupational therapy funded by NDIS offers a range of benefits to Australians living with a disability.