Very Special Kids hires a Physiotherapist

Last year Very Special Kids secured a funding grant from the Barr Family Foundation that meant we were able to hire a permanent part-time physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists work to improve children’s motor development, strength, range of motion, fitness, gait difficulties, balance, coordination and respiratory function.

Belinda Luther, is now at our hospice 5 days a week, every morning, and has extensive experience in the paediatric physiotherapy industry.

Working at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 10 years and then in a private practice since 2004, Belinda has been involved in various research projects that have benefitted her practice and is excited to join the team at the hospice.

“I always liked the hospice environment when I had previously visited. I love working with the nurses, carers and collaborating with the art and music therapists enables a much more fun and holistic approach to my work, which is benefitting the children” she said.

Belinda had previously treated a few children in the hospice, so becoming permanent meant her work was able to be sustained and make more of an impact.

“I think the main benefit of having physiotherapy offered in the hospice is so that I can continue a child’s regular physiotherapy program. I can monitor a child’s respiratory needs and treat them accordingly. I can assist with positioning children optimally, monitoring their equipment and splints. I can also assist with their musculoskeletal needs, including flexibility, strengthening, balance, mobility – whatever a child’s particular needs are. It’s completely individualised and primarily about adding quality to their life” said Belinda.

Physiotherapists help to maintain and develop functional skill level and range of movement in order to minimise joint contracture and postural deformities.

“I am really keen to learn about what families would like me to focus on and urge parents to chat to me about their child’s physiotherapy program outside the hospice. I’m also keen to make stronger connections with the community physiotherapists involved with the children.”