Department of Veteran’s Affairs

Department of Veteran’s Affairs

Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) provides those who hold gold and white veteran cards with the opportunity to access potentially life-changing allied health services. However, many of the services available are often unknown to our veterans.

Occupational therapy (OT) is one of these services that can provide significant improvements to a veteran’s safety, independence, or even just their day-to-day function. This can range from the prescription of low-cost equipment such as shower chairs, automatic jar openers, and four-wheeled walkers, to application for major home modifications including level-access bathrooms. At Forbes Care, we are the largest team dedicated to OT services in South East Queensland, and we often have immediate capacity to provide DVA services to your patients.

Typically, we will start with an in-home safety assessment to determine what – if any – risks there are to safety, including falls prevention. This might include looking at replacing bath mats (which slide around on wet tiles) with rubber-backed, non-slip alternatives. It might also include the prescription of grab rails, improved lighting solutions, or kettle tipper. These small changes can make a significant difference to how safe our veteran’s feel inside their home, allowing them to continue living with more independence!

However, DVA is also able to provide higher-cost equipment which can be transformative in the way our veterans live out their remaining years at home. For example, this could include OT prescribing power wheelchairs to help those veterans with reduced mobility. It could also involve prescription of an electric bed base and pressure-relieving mattress to improve the veteran’s safety during transfers, help them manage their pain or oedema, and help to reduce their risk of developing pressure injuries. This could be the difference between our veterans sleeping in their living room and having their own suitable bed to sleep in.

Other things OT can look at is equipment to help with personal care, such as a bidet. This allows our veterans to clean their perineal area after toileting via a remote-controlled hose built into a toilet seat. This can be the difference between our veterans being reliant on their spouse or family (multiple times per day) and them being independent with self-care. The benefits that this can have for their dignity, relationships, and quality of life are immeasurable.

It is worth noting that DVA should only be expected to fund equipment or modifications for veterans with a clinical need. This means that although your patient may hold a gold or white card, they are not automatically eligible for any of the items listed within this article.

If you have any concerns about your patients’ safety, independence, day-to-day function or even just their quality of life at home, refer them to Forbes Care for a comprehensive assessment under a DVA OT referral.

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To book an appointment with an occupational therapist, please call 07 5220 8909 or submit a referral form below.

General Practitioners can send referrals to:
Fax: 07 5302 6482
Address: Shop 15/102 Burnett St, Buderim

submit a referral