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Curtin University speech pathology student Genevieve Wilmot and Hamersley resident Trevor.
Being able to communicate effectively can make a big difference in improving the quality of life of the people we care for. At Hall & Prior, we employ qualified speech pathologists who assist our residents to communicate better. Their work also addresses issues with swallowing when eating or drinking, which can be common in older people.
Recently Hall & Prior’s head office in Western Australia hosted a speech pathology student in her final year of study. As all students need to complete practical training and be rated by a practicing clinician before they can graduate, this is a crucial time in their study.
Curtin University student Genevieve Wilmot visited some of our homes under the supervision of speech pathologist Lilian Moorcroft and Coordinator of Speech Pathology Pamela Windram. She has been able to deliver one-to-one communication intervention to our residents.
“It has an enlightening experience, I've been able to get a really interesting perspective of what it’s like to work in aged care,” Genevieve said.
“I also got to see how the allied health team, made up of occupational therapists (OTs), physiotherapists and speech pathologists, work closely together to give the best care possible.
“An example of this is working with the OTs to develop regular activities that will help improve a resident’s language skills.”
“I’ve been working on alternative communication methods with several residents to help them with interacting, like using a picture board and giving them choices. They can point to a board that shows what they want, like a cup of coffee, and it gives them more of a voice.”
Genevieve has also helped Pamela with a program aiming to gather residents’ stories so care staff are able to communicate better with them.
Through the My Life, My Story program, Pamela and Genevieve have been gathering social profiles and backstories from residents and their family members, to give staff more to talk to them about.
“When they talk about a good memory it can really light them up,” Genevieve said.