Get involved > Spotlight on MND > May 2016 > Therapist with a passion

Spotlight on MND


Therapist with a passion

Posted 6/05/2016 at 9:00:00AM by Sarah Solomon


A unique insight into MND

I am the Senior Occupational Therapist at the State-wide Progressive Neurological Diseases Service (SPNDS) at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem in Melbourne Victoria. I have worked here for 9 years.

From 1997-2000 I also worked at the MND clinic at Kings College Hospital London

I cared for my mum who had MND in 2011-2012 which has provided me with a unique insight into the full impact of this disease.

Helping to achieve goals is a privilege

It is a privilege and a pleasure assisting people with MND and their significant others to achieve their goals and to live the life they want within all the changes that can occur. I have learnt some amazing things from people I have worked with.

I am passionate about advocating to others for my clients. In many cases - people with MND don’t fit into the current guidelines or timelines for funding of services, care, therapy or equipment.

Every person has different needs

I encourage therapists to be flexible, open minded, responsive and goal directed.  Functional changes can be rapid and varied and there is no ‘clinical pathway’ to follow. Each person will adjust differently to the diagnosis so it is imperative to understand what is important to each individual. Working out when the timing is right to provide information can be tricky. Sometimes people just need someone to say ‘this is what I think you may need’ as sometimes the choices and the changes they face can be overwhelming.

Clear communication is so important

Providing clear communication about different options is so important. I will often provide information in a way that includes what may be needed now and what may or may not be required in the future.

I encourage therapists to consider risk vs. quality of life and acknowledge that it may take individuals different times to be ready to accept or discuss options.

My hopes for the future

I hope that awareness of the impact of MND continues to rise.

I hope that the NDIS will ultimately mean a more flexible and individualised provision of equipment and services thus ensuring an improved quality of life for people with MND and an easier way for the multidisciplinary team to provide required resources in a timely manner.  

Ultimately I would like to be out of a job as a cure is found and my services are no longer required.
Senior Occupational Therapist Sarah Solomon with Philip Archer

State-wide Progressive Neurological Diseases Service (SPNDS)
Calvary Health Care Bethlehem Melbourne, Victoria




Maureen Ransome
I agree, I have worked with people with MND as a carer and it is the most humbling thing to assist someone in their own home to remain there until they pass. It is the most scary disease and one that sadly has no cure.
13/06/2016 4:52:57 PM


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