Huntington’s Australia launches Neuro Clinics

  • Nerves firing illustration
    Nerves firing

Huntington’s Australia is currently implementing an innovative outreach Neuro-Clinic for the Kimberley (Kununurra) and Pilbara regions of WA. These clinics aim to provide medical and educational support for the Indigenous community impacted by Huntington’s disease (HD).

Over the next two years we will hold a yearly clinic in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions which will see a team of multi-disciplinary health professionals visit the region for 4 days to deliver support and education. People impacted by neurological conditions, in particular HD, are in desperate need of support in these under resourced rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.

We have partnered with Lyfe Languages to improve the communication between health professionals and Indigenous language-speaking clients. Lyfe Languages are in the process of developing appropriate HD educational materials, which we hope will improve the way in which we deliver health care to the Indigenous community.

Our goal for the project is to improve people with neurological disability’s inclusion and participation in regional and remote communities. This will result in social connection and wellbeing, as well as improving attitudes and understanding of neurological disability in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.

The clinics aim to:

  • Identify those at-risk of carrying the HD gene mutation and offer genetic counselling so anyone who is impacted can understand and plan for the support they will need.
  • Assess those diagnosed with HD and work with them and local health providers to cocreate a management plan.
  • Provide education for local medical, allied health and support work staff to help them understand how to improve medical outcomes, reduce social isolation and increase well-being and social connection for those with neurological conditions.
  • Provide training and information to the wider community to improve local attitudes towards disability, develop a positive attitude towards diversity and help strengthen pathways towards better disability inclusion within the community.
  • Provide symptom management education for those with relevant conditions and local health professionals, to reduce the likelihood of hospital admissions and/or reduce the length of hospital stays.
  • Assist in strengthening relationships between those with neurological health conditions, healthcare services, families of those impacted by HD and other neurological conditions and their local community.
  • Provide education and support to show how to best access end-to-end lifecare services including access and engagement with education, as well as the justice and aged care sectors.
  • Collaborate with those who need follow-up services (such as social work, neurology, psychiatry, speech pathology) and consider how to best deliver telehealth, local service provisions, reviews, and technological support in a way that best fits their needs and gives them independence and control over their own care.

Increasing understanding and support for people with cognitive disabilities in rural, regional, and remote areas is crucial, especially for those with degenerative neurological conditions like HD. It is important to consider the unique challenges and needs of individuals in these areas and work towards providing the necessary resources and assistance they require. Encouraging community education and outreach programs, as well as establishing support networks, is essential in addressing these needs.

Huntington’s Australia must keep advocating for rural, regional and remote communities. Working together with unwavering commitment can help in building a more equitable and supportive environment for all Australians, regardless of their geographic location.

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