Hawera Hospital patients benefiting from new occupational therapy kitchen

By Rochelle West

6 August 2020

A purpose-built rehabilitation kitchen has given 89-year-old Betty Anderson the confidence to prepare her own meals again after she broke her hip in a nasty fall.

The Hāwera woman is one of about a dozen patients to so far benefit from the new mini-kitchen at Hāwera Hospital, thanks to a donation from the Isobel Bremer Medical Services Trust.

The mini-kitchen, which helps patients recovering from conditions affecting their mobility prepare for returning home, was finished just prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, but couldn’t be used until lockdown restrictions were lifted.

Mrs Anderson is one of the patients to benefit. She needed a metal plate and screws inserted after falling over and breaking her hip in June.
“I was going for a walk and I thought I’d check the mail. Instead of lifting my foot away, I trod on it and over I went,” said Mrs Anderson, who was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital for surgery before returning to Hāwera Hospital.

As part of her occupational therapy assessment for returning home, Mrs Anderson made her breakfast in the mini-kitchen, which includes what you find in a kitchen a home, including a jug, microwave, sink, benchtop and cupboards.

“I think that’s a wonderful idea because you can do it yourself and it was so easy.”

Hāwera Hospital clinical manager Cathy Thomson said the OTs were “thrilled to have such a facility on the ward for carrying out functional assessments”.
“This helps to speed up the process of assessing OT and R (rehabilitation) patients. If they can do this practice regularly, which they’re doing, it means that expedites their discharge home.”

The new mini-kitchen is also able to be used by families of palliative patient who stay over at the hospital.

The Isobel Bremer Medical Services Trust honours the wishes of Isobel Bremer who died in November 1991 – to provide support to medical services in South Taranaki.

Taranaki Health Foundation general manager Bry Kopu-Scott says the donation from the Trust is greatly appreciated.

“We are so grateful for the donations made. This is a practical and clinically important new space for rehabilitation practice and confidence building for South Taranaki patients and families.”

The Taranaki Health Foundation is the first point of call for people wishing to contribute to health in Taranaki. Fundraising year round, the foundation has a range of projects that focus on patient comfort, well-being and support.

For more information, check out Taranaki Health Foundation online www.taranakihealthfoundation.org.nz.

For further information about this project, please contact Taranaki Health Foundation General Manager Bry Kopu on 06 753 8688, 021 024 23808 or Bry.Kopu-Scott@tdhb.org.nz.

Photo: Hawera Hospital Clinical Manager Cathy Thomson (left) with Occupational Therapist Katie Jones (centre) and Bry Kopu-Scott, General Manager, Taranaki Health Foundation pictured with the mini-kitchen.