Organisation making life more accessible

Rain or shine, mobile service co-ordinator Rochell Fox has been providing accessibility items...
Rain or shine, mobile service co-ordinator Rochell Fox has been providing accessibility items across Otago. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
As Dunedin continues to manage the challenges of the Covid-19 Delta outbreak, one local charitable organisation is helping make everyday life more accessible.

From wiping your bottom to clipping your toes, there are plenty of tasks that can become much more difficult for people with temporary or permanent disabilities.

That is where Livingwell Disability Resource Centre is able to help.

It is the new trading name of Disability Information Service Inc, a charity that has been providing disability information and advice for 30 years, as well as tools to help make life easier.

General manager Debbie Roe said a recent move from Dunedin Community House to the ground floor of Burns House on the corner of George and Bath Sts had helped make their retail arm more visible.

The charity supplies useful tools for people facing challenges from ageing, recovering from surgery, changes in function after being diagnosed with an illness or people with lifelong disabilities.

These tools include kitchen products such as jar and can openers, and no-spill cups; bathroom products such as shower chairs and raised toilet seats; and equipment to make dressing easier.

Wheelchairs, walking sticks, and walking frames can be ordered and delivered to people’s homes.

Many of these items could also be hired instead of being bought, Mrs Roe said.

People were sometimes referred to the charity after they or their children had been in hospital.

They also helped people who were ‘‘ageing in place’’ and staying in their homes for longer and needed assessment and advice installing ramps or other accessibility items.

The charity also provided advice on access issues, whether that was making changes in a home environment to help access, as well as providing advice to the Dunedin City Council on public accessibility.

Mobile service co-ordinator Rochell Fox has been in touch with about 70 people across the Otago region, helping provide free samples, equipment and living aids, providing a contactless drop-off service that is Covid-19 safe.

‘‘Rochelle takes our services and delivers to the community, provides assessments for total mobility — the half price taxi scheme — and does a lot of home visits based on referrals from rural hospitals,’’ Mrs Roe said.

The charity has continued to provide information and advice, regardless of Covid-19 Alert Level.


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