Why, oh why, do WE have to bear the burden of responsibility in finding out about these things? Why is the SS so secret? They are funded by our taxes so we should know of their existance. Social Services are mean't to provide a service to society which by it’s fundamental nature suggests that the public be made aware of the service provisions available! It’s like some international conspiratorial secret. “Don’t tell the punters what they can get out of social security and we won’t have to do any work.” Is it some sort of plot so that governments can brag about their massive budget surplus whilst those in need remain that way?
Well be aware my friends. Whether you’re aged, have a disabled family member or occupational therapy issue . . . you can get support for a very low price or even free but my God, you have to fight to find out about it!
Years ago, I had an ageing aunt. Sharp as a tack but crippled with Arthritis, she moved to
What they DIDN’T tell us, is that once you are involved in one of these schemes, you lose access to a plethora of community services that you would otherwise qualify for if you owned your own home/flat/unit in an ordinary street. Whilst there are some fees payable by those who can afford it, no client is left in the lurch due to an inability to pay as long as they are in their own home and not an 'aged' facility which includes over 55 retirement complexes. By investing in this property . . . and we didn’t know at the time because nobody told us . . . she disqualified herself from:
- Meals on wheels
- Home help (cleaning – shopping)
- Occupational therapy
- Home visits by Western Area Health nurses and physiotherapists
- Companion visits by volunteers
- Transport assistance
- Gardening and mowing assistance
- Home modification
As her health failed. She was forced to move and sell. The panic button was nothing more than an alarm linked into the local (full paying) medical centre which closed at midnight, there was no home help and no desire to provide any unless she paid full dollar for a commercial cleaner or housekeeper. Small blessing but she passed away in hospital while my parents were looking for nursing home accommodation for her.
On another occasion, my father after having a bowel resection and looking pretty good for a while there, succumbed to metastatic liver cancer. He was pretty fit for a long time but when the crash came, it came quickly. He was incredibly tired, he needed some assistance with hand rails in the shower, special mattressing to prevent bed sores, nursing help, home visits by doctors, someone to assist showering him (he would have died rather than have his daughters do it) and despite the best efforts of BabySis and I to keep him comfortable, we wondered how on earth we would receive these services.
Again, only through the mother of one of DrummerBoy’s friends who works within the service, did we hear about the Western Area Health Service and their provision of palliative care ‘at home’. Once linked in, they were fabulous. They dealt with showers and occupational health and safety and counselled us as carers but had I not had access to that one person that briefed me on their existence, we would have struggled.
So, my point? I guess we have to take it on board that Governments, local or otherwise, will not ‘tell’ you about services that are going to cost the taxpayer money. It’s up to individual punters to find out about their entitlements whether it’s Centrelink benefits and pensions, a Senior Commonwealth Health Card that discounts your meds, $1.00 a day travel on all Sydney Public Transport for retired people, local area health and occupational therapy, respite for carers of people with a disability, financial support for carers the aged and the disabled, Council services to make life a little easier or in GrannyMar’s case, the ability to be on a register in the event of an emergency. This seems quite advantageous . . .out here, electricity providers recommend you install a generator!
Caveat emptor my friends . . be aware and become familiar. Had my aunt bought a little townhouse in the centre of Castle Hill and taken advantage of the services available to her, she would have survived much longer, I have no doubt. And my Dad? Well nothing would save him but we were able to care for him at home and make his last days comfortable and familiar. That’s really important in my book!