SOS Health Foundation
John, director here at Keilor Road Physiotherapy has volunteered at the SOS Health Foundation since February this year, providing Physiotherapy for the homeless. We sat down with him briefly to find out what's involved.
Firstly, how did you become involved:
Well, I challenged myself to make a difference this year.
I wanted to explore using my skill set by donating my time and
and learn a little more about myself. SOS made it possible through the probono clinic we run here in the Salvation Army building in Melbourne's CBD.
What does a typical day look like:
I job share with another Physio, so it's 2 Thursday mornings a month. Otherwise, it's like any other private practice role. For those that have been in to visit me here at KRP, the experience for my homeless patients isn't overly different to be honest, just in a different setting. We ask questions, we assess, treat and plan just like we would with any other patient.
What are some of the challenges:
Our biggest challenge is getting patients for an adequate stretch of time to see them through to 100%. Because the homeless population can live a fairly provisional, transient existence and because they're so heavily influenced by their surroundings, it can be hard to put a treatment plan in place. Health is often also a pretty low priority compared to some of the other things you and I might take for granted - food, shelter, safety to name a few.
What have you got out of it:
Working with those less fortunate certainly offers perspective. Having their opinions heard, their values and dignity respected and individuality recognized is something that the homeless certainly aren't always used to. So, to be able to offer that is often enough in itself, let alone being able to help them out with any injury worries. I get a chance to tell my terrible jokes too, so we have plenty of laughs.
If you want to make a difference this festive season, why not try donating to a worthy cause, aimed at brightening up someone's Xmas. Some ideas might include: