26th May 2020
Dear participants and their families,
It has been a crazy couple of months, but it’s been awesome to see so many people embracing the opportunity to continue music therapy via online therapy! It has brought about many surprising outcomes, with about 50-75% of people accessing music therapy in this way actually doing much better than in face-to-face sessions. For example, with children who have sensory needs, it’s provided them opportunity to develop and grow in their familiar home environment, supported by their family. Mums, dads, caregivers and support staff have been getting hands-on and learning ways to play with their child musically too! Despite all of the difficulties we’ve faced as a society, it’s been so nice to see some positive outcomes.
Now, I’m sure you’re keen to be updated on the current status of music therapy sessions and what the plan will be moving forward in relation to transitioning back to face-to-face sessions.
At this stage, participants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but primarily, sessions will continue via online therapy while the 1-person-per-4-square-metre rule is in place. As much as I’d love to dive right back in, I just don’t have a suitable amount of space at the Alberton studio to ensure social distancing measures are adhered to.
This will come as a disappointment to some people, because online therapy has not worked for all participants. I will work with individuals to find a suitable way to deliver their therapy and where possible and safe to do so, will offer home visits.
The Covid-19 cancellation policy continues to apply. Until September, the NDIA has permitted providers to charge 100% for cancelled sessions to help their businesses remain viable during this period. Less than 3 days notice will incur this charge.
In news, I am currently working on some exciting new changes what will hopefully lead to a dedicated clinic space so current and future clients can have access to meaningful therapies with a focus on creativity. Stay tuned! I’ll update you as more information becomes available.
In the meantime, familiarise yourself with the below information if you do hope to receive home visits.
Should you have any concerns regarding the current situation or wish to talk more about your music therapy session, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Face-to-face music therapy
Where participants are receiving face to face services, the following measures still apply:
- If you have traveled to a high-risk country recently or have been in contact with someone who has contracted the virus – please follow the government guidelines on isolation steps/measures: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert#current-status
- Parents, carers and clients are asked to promote good hygiene, including hand washing with soap.
- Please get your flu shot if that is an option for you.
- The World Health Organisation recommends avoiding touching your face.
- Hand washing is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of germs that cause respiratory disease. This should be done prior to your appointment.
I ask parents kindly to please cancel appointments if their child has a temperature or cough, as viruses are spread by mucous and droplets there is a risk to other clients and myself. Similarly, if I am unwell with any respiratory symptoms, I will give you as much notice as possible if I need to cancel the session. Children are often sick particularly through the winter period and although it is unlikely to be COVID-19 my practice needs to reduce risk for those who attend music therapy who are immune suppressed and could become seriously ill.
I will continue to do the following:
- The Australian Government Department for Health is issuing regular advice, which is being checked on a daily basis.
- All clients of NOMT will continue to receive these updates.
- Hand sanitiser, tissues and disinfectant wipes are available for your use during sessions.
- I follows usual hygiene procedures wiping all surfaces and instruments before and after each person uses them.
- Some instruments that are harder to clean have been removed from sessions.
- Training regarding infection control has been undertaken.
- Natalie has had her vaccination against influenza for 2020.
- The situation is constantly being assessed and I will be in touch regarding any changes to delivery of your sessions as required.