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Keeping older people mobile through the pandemic

July 27, 2020

Vinh Vu cannot think of another job he would rather be doing than his current job as physiotherapist at Liscombe House.

Each day is never the same, and certainly the last fortnight for Vinh and his other two physio colleagues, has been quite out of the ordinary as they move from room to room in the Liscombe and Anne Jeffery Wings delivering one on one physio to each resident.

Liscombe House residents have been unable to have that direct attention but Vinh and the physio team have put together modified exercise regimens which Liscombe House residents are following.

“We are really looking forward to getting back into Liscombe House to see the residents again, to have a chat and start individual and group exercises again,” Vinh said.

The lockdown and pandemic have highlighted to Vinh how much he enjoys working at Liscombe House, which he joined in November 2018.

“We are a caring team which supports each other and that has been really obvious from my first day,” Vinh said.

Liscombe House is his first job from La Trobe University where he studied physiotherapy at the nearby Bundoora campus.

“I had always wanted to go into Biomed or Medicine but my mother talked me out of it, saying that it would be much better to do a degree which would result in a job. I am really pleased that I listened to her,” Vinh said.

While at university, Vinh had a placement in an aged care setting and realised that aged care was where he wanted to work.

“It was like a light went off, I loved it. It is such a tangible job because you see the results,” he said.

While Liscombe House has been in lockdown, Vinh and his colleagues Roberta and Lea have altered the way they work because residents are remaining in their rooms.

“We have modified exercises so that residents can exercise by themselves in their own rooms, as well as with us – physically distancing of course,” Vinh said.

The team has also continued with the falls and balance regimes that happen each Tuesday and Thursday but delivering them in residents’ rooms. Soft tissue massage to those residents who need it continues to happen, and for all residents, they have been providing emotional support.

“We have been able to have longer time with everyone which has been a positive in these uncertain times,” Vinh said.

“We have been able to transform the program to provide one on one physio indirectly to our Liscombe House residents. It has been a real privilege to be able to have the support and encouragement to deliver something which really is best practice despite the circumstances.”


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