NeuroMoves makes every step a winner for online rehab
An innovative exercise and therapy program for people living with spinal cord injuries and neurological conditions is for the first time being delivered to clients in the comfort of their own homes, including in regional and remote locations, thanks to the GPNow telecare platform.
Since its inception 12 years ago the NeuroMoves program has made a profound difference to the lives of many Australians, particularly since the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme which allows participants to access the program using their plan funding.
An NDIS participant to benefit from the online platform is Adelaide University student and Paralympic table tennis team member Hayley Sands, 20, who joined the program five years ago.
At 13 Hayley suffered a whiplash injury when she dived into a pool, resulting in tetraplegia. Although she has feeling in her whole body she was unable to move her body much until she started with NeuroMoves, which has given her increased upper limb and upper body strength through regular weekly sessions.
“I was one of the first two people to join the South Australian program when it started at the spinal cord gym in Angle Park when I was 15,” she says. “It’s made a huge difference to my life, improving my seated balance, giving me the strength to transfer more easily from my bed to a chair, from my chair to my car, and to play competitive table tennis!
“I like how the program is specifically tailored to me and focuses on practical physical and social goals, enabling me to be more independent.”
Hayley was concerned when the COVID-19 lockdown came into force and prevented her from attending face-to-face sessions, saying “it’s very easy to deteriorate quickly if you don’t maintain your form – it wasn’t possible for me to do regular online classes like my friends”.
So when NeuroMoves went online she jumped at the chance to participate.
“Doing the program online is so easy and has enabled me to continue doing cardio and weights with an exercise physiologist or physio one-on-one in the comfort of my own home,” Hayley says. “The whole program is covered by NDIS, and not only has the move online helped me keep a routine, it’s given me more time to attend table tennis practice sessions two or three times a week.”
SCIA CEO, Diane Lucas says overall things have gone exceptionally well.
“We thought we might get 25 per cent uptake of the telehealth NeuroMoves program but it’s actually almost been 50 per cent,” she says. “Our therapists love the GPNow platform and our clients are of course very pleased to be able to continue their sessions at home.”
“We conducted more than 3000 NeuroMoves one-hour sessions last quarter, keeping over 2000 NeuroMoves clients nationally connected during the crisis, all fully funded by the NDIS.”
For more information about NeuroMoves, visit scia.org.au/neuromoves-exercise/.