Accessing Home Care Equipment

There is a wide range of home care equipment that can be used daily for all your needs, whether you need help with cooking or showering or walking. Asking your GP to refer you to an Occupational Therapist (OT) through your local hospital is the best way to access equipment due to there being no cost however the waitlist can be long.

What is an occupational therapist?

An occupational therapist is more commonly known as ‘OT’. An occupational therapist works with people of all ages who have limitations after suffering from an injury, illness or difficult life circumstances.

They help you get back to their daily activities by using purposeful activities, interventions or equipment so that you can take care of yourself, carry out daily tasks and stay active. 

Occupational therapists also work with families and carers to help understand the importance of taking part in their clients’ daily activities, as well as helping you participate in social interactions and relationships. 

Some occupational therapists are more specialised and have more training in certain areas. These areas include:

  • children and young people 
  • older people
  • people with physical disabilities
  • people with mental health conditions
  • people with learning disabilities.

What can an occupational therapist help with?

There are a number of conditions that it may be a good idea to get help from an occupational therapist. These include:

Some specific tasks that an occupational therapist may help with include:

  • eating without the help of others
  • bathing and showering
  • toileting
  • get dressed
  • moving around
  • doing laundry. 

Talk to your GP or doctor to find out whether you need an occupational therapist. 

Where does an occupational therapist work?

As an occupational therapist works with a wide range of clients. You can find them in hospitals, outpatient clinics, prison, nursing homes, hospices, schools, industrial workplaces or rehab centers. 

Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to an occupational therapist. Or you can pay for a private service. Find a private occupational therapist here.

Occupational therapists will suggest tools or pieces of equipment you may find helpful, like:

  • a walking stick, walking frame or wheelchair
  • electric can openers or electric toothbrushes
  • knives with large handles and chunky pens
  • a non-slip mat for the bath
  • a special keyboard or mouse to help you use a computer
  • voice-controlled lights
  • voice-controlled software on a computer
  • a special comb
  • a device that turns the pages of a book
  • two-handled cups, tap turners and kettle tippers
  • bed raisers and hoists
  • specialist seating

You should mention any difficulties you have to your occupational therapist. No matter how small they seem, there may be all kinds of adapted equipment that can help.

Where Can I Purchase Mobility Aids?

Otherwise browsing online and local shops for equipment is the next best option, there is cost involved in this however it will allow you to acquire the equipment faster

Places to check:

  • TradeMe
  • Kmart – Check out the sporting goods section for braces and low level exercise equipment to help build up muscles
  • Op shops may have second hand mobility devices such as walkers
  • Pharmacies often stock generic braces for hands, elbows and knees
  • The Warehouse – as with kmart they have a wide selection of braces and low level exercise equipment
  • Aliexpress etc
  • Disability shops such as The Mobility Center stock a wide range of mobility devices from walkers and electric scooters to jar and can openers, food utensils and cups to avoid spills, rails, portable ramps, and so much more.
  • Hardware stores such as Bunnings and Mitre 10 have a wide range of hand rails, as well as other mobility devices such as bath mats to avoid slips in the bath or shower