Baptcare Westhaven Day Therapy Centre

Baptcare’s Westhaven Day Therapy Centre is brimming with people on a Monday. One particular customer, Violet Stevenson has been visiting the centre every week for over three years.

“It’s not just the exercise, it’s also the companionship” she says, as she exercises on a cross trainer while waving at another visitor. “I really like the staff as well – they’re absolutely lovely.”

The staff Violet speaks of are Ocupational Therapist (OT) Rebecca Doneley, physiotherapist Mark Avery and the centre’s new Allied Health Assistant Mariana Azar.

The Westhaven Day Therapy Centre offers a variety of programs and allied health services to support our customers’ health. These programs include tai chi, physiotherapy and strength training.

According to Rebecca, the centre aims to help our customers “maintain their independence at home by changing or implementing new ways to do things around the house”. As an OT, Rebecca undertakes a combination of in centre and home assessments. Having been with Baptcare for over five years, Rebecca is also a familiar sight at our Strathalan and Karana communities.

Initially wanting to pursue a career in physiotherapy, Rebecca was introduced to OT eight years ago and has never looked back.

“I love being an OT – I get to take on a personal approach to helping individuals with their needs. One particular client had a number of falls at home and was worried about going into residential aged care, so we worked with her and got her a personal response alarm which has given her some confidence.”

Falls at home are quite common for a number of our customers, which resulted in the Westhaven team putting together a Falls Prevention Program. The program aims to remove risks around the house and teaches our clients the best way to get off the floor if they have a fall.

The program runs annually at all Baptcare day therapy centres and also includes home visits.

According to Mark, the program is “about getting people to feel ok; a lot of our customers used to feel a lot of shame when they fell but as the program runs in a group environment, when one person spoke about their fall, they felt more comfortable and confident to talk about it.”

The Westhaven centre has also created a sense of community for our customers through its various group activities.

“When you have a supportive community around you, you feel like you can do more,” Mark says.

A favourite client success story of his is that of an elderly widower who wanted to visit his wife’s grave, but was unable to walk for more than 100 metres. Mark was successfully able to improve the man’s strength and fitness levels, which has resulted in him visiting his wife’s grave every day.

For Mark, stories like these are what make his job meaningful.

“I used to be an industrial chemist, but I couldn’t be in manufacturing for another 20 years – I wanted a job where I could use my hands, head and heart,” he said.

The multi-disciplinary team at Westhaven are committed to improving customer outcomes through tailored support services. Their goal is to ensure that customers are in the best condition to live at home independently.