The installation of a custom-made adult changing table in the family/disabled change-rooms in the aquatic facilities at Wangaratta Indoor Sports & Aquatic Centre has not only enabled Dave Tymns to continue his physical recovery, but also empowered him to be independent.
“Upon returning from a neuro clinic for treatment in Melbourne I heard that the table had been installed and I was ecstatic,” he said.
“The table enables me to attend the pool, change myself safely and privately for sessions in the pool. Without it I wouldn’t be able to come here without a carer.”
Mr Tymns says the addition of the table has impacted enormously on his recovery, enabling him to use the aquatic facilities for physio as well as relaxation.
“The more exercise I have, the more mobile I can be. It assists my strength and tone and it is also good for relaxation and all the mental benefits of getting out and about.
The change-table was purchased in consultation with local health professionals and with funding assistance from the Lions Club of Wangaratta, who provided a grant of $5500 towards the project. The remaining funds were gained through the YMCA Open Doors program which is a fundraising program dedicated to meeting the needs of locals who are experiencing disadvantage.
Graham Whitehead, Lions Club Immediate Past President, says the enormous benefits of this addition are cause for delight. “The Lions Club funded the Disabled/Family change-rooms when the aquatic facilities were built, and we are so pleased to see that additional facilities such as the hoist and this change-table, continue to make the facilities more accessible and of benefit to more and more people in the community.”
“To see the impact that the table has had on the daily life of Dave and other members of the community, is wonderful. We hope that more and more people continue to access the facility for their needs.”
The change-table is also a welcome addition for carers and health professionals, who can assist their clients to use the change-table safely. “The change table is custom-made and has a number of features that aid safe and accessible use,” said physiotherapist Donna Samon.
Ms Samon says the change-table has made it possible for some people to attend the pool when in the past they couldn’t. “Exercise therapy in the water can be of enormous benefit to people – providing weightless mobility and relaxation. The change-table, in addition to the ramp and hoist, make these facilities an accessible and safe option for more and more people to utilise.”
The change-table has enabled Murray Leahy to return to the pool for his physio sessions. “It became too difficult for Murray, but now with the change-table we are able to assist him safely,” said Kris Marr, Disability support worker. “Being able to do physio in the water is vital for Murray – he looks forward to it, it’s a highlight in his week. So it’s not only the physical benefits but the impact on his wellbeing that make it so valuable.”