2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

stephenDGConference Leader: Dr Stephen de Graaff

Dr de Graaff is Medical Director at Cedar Court Health South Rehabilitation Hospital and Head of the Neurological Rehabilitation Unit at Caulfield General Medical Centre. He is Fellow of the AFRM. His areas of research interest include stroke rehabilitation, spasticity management, pain management, post-polio sequelae and continuing professional development. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Education and Standards of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

These teaching sessions are probably the most thorough on the topic of Post Polio Syndrome, given by one of Australasia’s most qualified specialists.

The following presentations from this Conference are available for purchase on DVD/CD from New Zealand.

◆ Polio ­The Legend
◆ Resourcing Care for the Polio Survivor
◆ Pain Management
◆ Medications and the Polio Survivor

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Senior Physiotherapist
Royal Perth Hospital
West Australia
Dr Jurian de Groot
Palmerston North
DHB Rehabilitation Centre
David Guest
Enable New Zealand

At this conference Jega gave a spirited sequence of presentations on her work in Perth WA, ranging from how the Assessment Centre was established to how individuals are assessed at the centre. Her work is to assess individual patient’s needs, and then to refer the patient to the most effective services available. So each person gets a customized programme suited to their individual situation.

Jega showed her mettle on the second day when she assessed three volunteers. Some of the questions expressed profound insight …. “Was it pain or muscle weakness that caused you to fall?” …. indicating whether pain control or mechanical assistance was the issue. She expertly told if existing muscles could be strengthened by simple exercise; and what the benefit of the outcome would be (eg better stability). Her emphasis on starting for short periods (as small as 15 seconds) a day and building up to longer times showed an empathy with the limits of those with disability. Exercise should never create fatigue. Finding the balance between the positive benefits of being fit, and overuse which causes fatigue, is the challenge facing all polios and their support network.

Jega spent considerable effort in the hydrotherapy pool demonstrating how effective strengthening exercise could be achieved in the buoyant medium.

The following presentations from this Conference are available for purchase on DVD/CD from New Zealand.

◆ Jega – Late Effects of Disability Clinic
◆ Jega – Maximising the Quality of Life
◆ Dr Jurian de Groot – Post Polio Rehabilitation and Pacing
◆ David Guest – Equipment & Modification Services
◆ Jega – Practical Assessment 1
◆ Jega – Practical Assessment 2
◆ Jega – Practical Hydrotherapy

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Prof Richard Faull
International Researcher on
Neurodegenerative Diseases

Maggie Jack
Bay of Plenty
Susan Kerr
Polio NZ Board Member

The keynote speaker at the 2009 Conference was Professor Richard Faull. As an international researcher on neurodegenerative diseases and holder of the Rutherford Medal, NZ’s top science award, Richard is New Zealand’s leading expert on the human brain and stem-cell research.

In her presentation, physiotherapist Maggie Jack discussed that while continence is not usually an after-dinner subject, it is nonetheless a very important topic to become informed about. Maggie proved her versatility at the Conference by also turning her hand to entertaining!

Susan Kerr is a Polio NZ Board Member who attended the Post-polio Health International Conference at Warm Springs, Georgia, USA. She welcomed the opportunity to discuss what she had learnt.

Jo Maling gave an informative presentation about interesting and useful disability aids and appliances that those present might not have known about.

Finally, Dr Liz Falkner from Polio NZ reported on the organisation’s ongoing dream for a Centre of Excellence for the diagnosis and management of the late effects of polio.

Presentations from this Conference are available for purchase on DVD/CD from New Zealand and include the following.

◆ Maggie Jack – A Very, Very Private Matter
◆ Prof Richard Faull – Research On The Human Brain
◆ Susan Kerr – Warm Springs Report
◆ Jo Maling – Disability Aids and Appliances
◆ Dr Liz Falkner – The Society’s Challenge

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