New rehab gym to open in March

Patient Robert Milne, OT Alicia Tavare and Jacki Barnett and Senior Physiotherapist Roscoe Hine
Monday, 13 February 2012
Portland and district residents will be able to undergo rehabilitation in a brand new gym and kitchen when Active Health Portland opens in March.

The new centre will feature a state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym and rehabilitation kitchen to help people with chronic illnesses or those recovering from injury and surgery to practise domestic skills in a safe environment.
Occupational therapist and early intervention team leader at Portland District Health, Jacki Barnett, said the programs at the new centre would help people to return to normal lifestyles and manage their conditions.
“It’s about helping people to re-engage in not only their jobs but in everyday living,” Ms Barnett said.
“To have modern, purpose-built facilities with stateof-the-art equipment will be great for local people.
It will help in-patients who are not quite ready for discharge and people in the community who might need some support in managing their condition,” she said.
The programs are tailored to individual needs and will help people to develop strategies to better manage everyday living tasks.
“People learn how to incorporate what they have learnt within the rehabilitation program into their lives, which helps them to regain their sense of independence,” Ms Barnett said.
Active Health Portland, built as part of the Federal Government’s GP Super Clinic initiative, is expected to open in March 2012.  A recruitment campaign to attract specialist staff is underway.
A team of professional staff including occupational
therapists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists,
dieticians, diabetes educators and speech pathologists will help people to achieve their lifestyle goals in the
new centre.
Ms Barnett said the new gym would be purpose-built and offer more space and equipment to help people to improve their balance, mobility and strength.
The new kitchen will be used to prepare meals and
setting menus that suit their needs. Ms Barnett said group and individual sessions would be offered in the gym and kitchen.
“Group sessions for people with particular conditions such as diabetes, stroke or Parkinson’s disease will give participants the opportunity to meet others who may share a similar experience,” Ms Barnett said.

STORY BY Portland Observer, PICTURE BY Josh Nash, Portland Observer

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