Work: it’s important, especially for people recovering from illness or injury and what’s needed is a paradigm shift in the way we allow and support people to recover at work.
By Megan Beer
Apart from the usual benefits of work in being able to draw a salary, one of the most important aspects is the opportunity to maintain social connection and support.
The social networks people establish at work play a big part in maintaining our social and physical health and routine gives people a real sense of purpose.
Research clearly shows if we can get people back into their routine, including work, if appropriate, they will recover faster.
We need to look beyond the traditional view of being fit for work and increase the opportunities for people to recover while performing good work that maintains a sense of value and purpose.
We need to challenge the view that people can only be effective if they are fully fit and situated in the traditional workplace environment.
This could look different for different roles and workplaces but could include the option to work from home, offering flexible working hours, part-time work or organising alternative work for a period of time.
We’re all about helping our customers live their best lives so our Insurance case managers have the freedom to get creative with solutions to help customers with their recovery and to get back to some form of work.
"Research clearly shows if we can get people back into their routine, including work, if appropriate, they will recover faster"
Here’s a snapshot of how we have supported our customers:
Horses for courses
A case manager recently connected a customer recovering from a psychological injury with a rehabilitation program that uses equine therapy to build confidence. Equine therapy is used to help rehabilitate by building confidence in the face of confusion.
An “iPad robot” (specifically a Padbot UI interactive stand) was provided to a customer so they could not only work from home, but expand their business whilst recovering from surgery. The technology helped the customer, who was unable to weight bear, to conduct meetings and train staff via video chat.
Exercise and rehabilitation
AMP facilitated the provision of an exercise program for a customer who was receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy which played an important role in recovery. Working with a physiotherapist or physiologist whilst undergoing cancer treatment can help individuals to prevent muscle wastage, improve balance and lower the risk of developing other diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
For a customer being treated for significant burns, it was imperative to their recovery that they were able to rest and focus their time and energy on recovery. AMP organised home cleaning for this customer to ease the significant household work burden.
The little things a guardian angel might do
Our team has offered meals services to customers with conditions complicated by dietary issues, sourced alternative equipment to make physical tasks achievable again, and arranged transportation to and from medical appointments.
Until the small things become big obstacles in the face of illness, it’s easy to overlook them.
These little things are where insurers can act to make the biggest impact.
AMP is focussed on helping customers live their best lives and getting creative with how customers are supported on their road to recovery, including getting back to work, is an important part of this.
Megan Beer is AMP's Group Executive, Insurance.