Life One Handed

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Work for the Dole – Part 1

Published July 16, 2018 by helentastic67

Work for the Dole

Work for the Dole – Part 1

My biggest lesson on how to best communicate with people with an ABI and how people best communicate with me, I learned before I was diagnosed.

Communicate with ABI 1

I was doing some casual work, I guess as a Consultant. This is when I went to work for my friend Frank at his NFP (Not for Profit). He would organise a day for himself out on the road, so I could work in his office.

Share office

Normally, he would give me some forms that were somewhat filled in and I would make some calls and solve the problems. The problems I solved were to match clients all over Victoria with hosts for them to perform their voluntary obligation, also referred to as ‘Work for the Dole.’

Problem solverPr

I had to take into account Frank liked a challenge because the clients he provided his service for might live in the country side and live miles from anywhere. Which is often why Jobnetwork (JNM’S) would funnel their difficult clients into these projects. That’s where I come in.

Country Victoria 1

Frank on this particular day pointed to a white board on the office wall. Now, I don’t mean to brag, but I was good at the talky, talky, walkie, walkie thing, so I confess I tuned out. But I recall him saying as he pointed to the board “This one’s important” and Frank left. I swear, I just recall how he waved at a name on the whiteboard and he was gone. I know here were words, but I figured “whatever I’ll look at his file and five him a call.” No drama!

No Drama

There was drama.

Drama

To be continued.

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Professionalism

Published July 13, 2018 by helentastic67

Professionalism

Professionalism

I confess to say, I don’t always come across like a complete num-nut, which is the assumption that all people with brain injuries can’t think for themselves, can’t process or understand and definitely can’t communicate or participate in social or business or “whatever” family?

Num nut

A few weeks ago, I rang an organisation that deals only with people with brain injuries. I’ve had some dealings with them in the past, however as their primary business/funding, is people with drug or alcohol ABI’s, my dealings have been limited.

ABI

As they also do some ‘housing,’ I’ve recently put in an application. I then attempted to follow it up. I rang, left a message, more than a week ago and when I rang, I came across so professionally on the phone, they thought I was a Case Manager. Ironic, much!

Case Manager

I was a little surprised and startled, I took my time answering her first question, “was I the client?” To which I did answer ‘Yes’, but because she didn’t hear me. She hit me with a barrage of questions. So, I went silent and she thought I’d hung up on her. Now I know I have a brain injury, but she works at an ABI company and all the people she would deal with on the phone could be in some way affected by an ABI.

Too many questions

So, at times, please one question at a friggin time.

Questions

To be continued.

This Could Be Obvious

Published July 9, 2018 by helentastic67

This could be more obvious

This could be obvious

Every now and again (like every other week, so it seems) a celebrity or famous sports person gets on the band wagon about their beliefs, that same-sex marriage is wrong and that they feel straight religious people are being bullied by the ‘Gays!’

Same sex marriage

I hope I only have to say this once. I am straight, I went to Catholic School for nine years. OK, I go to weddings, funerals and baptisms if invited. But I’M OK WITH SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

Approve same sex marriage

People will love who they love. They will live together, buy property together, start businesses together, raise children together. The Government will expect them to declare their relationships for Government benefits and tax purposes.

Government approval

They will just as likely be in a relationship the same length of time as a straight/heterosexual relationship. Why can’t they marry?

Just because I’m a single barren spinster (hoping I’m not going to be single forever) but barren, that’s probably not going to change. That ship has sailed, that ship is in Fiji already. I’m not standing between two people who love each other, having the same rights as anybody else.

Ship has sailed

I’M OK WITH SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

I can’t believe this is still an issue in OZ…

Ah! And in 2018, we finally caught up with the rest of the world!

Love 2018

 

Technology – Part 2

Published July 6, 2018 by helentastic67

Technology 2a

Technology –  Part 2

The NDIA has passed down the decision, they will not fund computers.

Not funding computers

I think this is probably, due to the carte blanche attitude of ‘anybody with an ISP’ (Individual Support Package) and the inability to police/monitor recipients of funding packages to buy a new computer, iPad, X-Box, gadgets, whatever, every year regardless of, if they need them.

Apple prods

x Box

 

Obviously, they don’t hut they have not ever managed this as a funding oversight or overspending.

I don’t know how I’m going to afford a new computer just because the government thinks

“EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN AUSTRALIA HAS A COMPUTER”

I have carers who don’t own a computer or even have one in their homes. My father never had a computer and he’s 68 years old, by the way and would not cope nor even be interested in a computer.

No computer

So, ergo, case in point, I don’t know how the government want us to manage our NDIS funding or anything else we are supposed to do on a computer, if we can’t afford one. I guess (to quote a friend) they think I’ll be able to smash away on my pillow as if it’s a keyboard.

Great image BTW (By the way)

NDIA

National Disability Insurance Agency.

NOT LIFE CHANGING!

Not life changing

Technology

Published July 2, 2018 by helentastic67

Technology

Technology

It might surprise you all to learn, I’m not as tech savvy as you all believe. Despite only being one handed, I will use my laptop, my iPad and my iPhone all at the same time.

Not tech savvy

My laptop is hooked up to the TV with a HDMI cable, allowing me to use my computer on a bigger screen. I use my iPad for email, then my iPhone for texting or messaging. All simultaneously.

Laptop to TV

Try it, it’s a challenge, not for the faint hearted. But it’s often how I stay on top of “Admin, work social connections and TV.

Social connections

At the moment, my laptop has a virus (cough, cough) and things have been getting glitchy (as I call it). I’ve go big black bars appearing down either side of the screen and font that is tiny.

And yes, I’ve looked at the basic things to fix it. I’ve mentioned my virus (cough cough) to a few people hoping I might encounter somebody kind enough to help fix it.

Often the response is; But don’t you have an Apple? (I thought they didn’t get viruses?)

To which all I can do is growl.

“Shuddup! Have you met me? My name is Helen!”

Computer virus 1

I guess this is a good time to mention, I only have these toys because of some one-off funding I received about four years ago and not a moment too soon. My laptop prior to this was ten years old and I’d been begging for help for years.

New computer

Misconception

Published June 29, 2018 by helentastic67

Misconception

Misconception

I thought I’d clear up a little misconception about what all Aussies look like.

The assumption is we are all tall, leggy, blond surfer type models or actresses.

Elle McPherson

Nicole Kidman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Hawkins

Hugh Jackman 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, in the 80’s, this was the comedic image of a ‘wog’

Effie

And that’s not been me, ever, either.

Now, you won’t ever see me posing for photos in a bikini or bathers for that matter, to prove a point. But just saying.

Apples and Oranges

 

 

Let the Games Begin

Published June 25, 2018 by helentastic67

Let the Games Begin

Let the Games Begin

I’ve been sitting and planning this post for about six months. Since I’ve been getting carers through an Agency, funding by the NDIA.

NDIS Carers

Dealing with HR (Human Resources) issues is super “NOT HOT” when getting and keeping good carers. The carers I’ve had the four years from my Council, through to HACC (Home and Community Care) which is state funded. They walk in, they ask “the normal” and they get to it and anything else they might choose to make their little project, when they leave, they might debrief me.

Choosing Carers

“I did the dishes, the stove, the benches, the kitty litter, the bins and xyz” by then, I’m nodding and shooing them out the door saying “I know, I trust you”.

They arrive, they leave, probably a little over the timeframe I am meant to have them but I know I can trust they did more than needed and they leave satisfied they will be happy with what they achieved and my cheek and personality has boosted them to get through the day. Sounds egotistical, but it’s a mutual thing.

Cheeky Personality

This is why despite having sufficient NDIS funding, I haven’t just opened the flood gate to get ‘God Knows’ how many new carers to cover 16 hours every week. I would go mental.

In six months, I’ve lost count how many carers I’ve had, but I’ve blocked three from returning for various reasons. Some have injured me, some we just had a personality clash (to be diplomatic) and some I just outright couldn’t deal with them anymore. There is one I really liked that I think cancer-wise she moved on.

So, there is a common thread that some act like I need them more than they need me because of me having a disability, is a little bit like I’m a commodity for them paying their bills.

Human Commodity

I get it that they do this job because they enjoy it and get some rewards from helping people and nobody would deny they don’t need the money, but I can tell when people work in this industry purely because they see it as a stress-free income.

I can tell when carers vie for my attention, asking coy questions to find out if I have other shifts they can utilise or if a carer must love coming to me because I’m friendly or chatty or (wait for it) YOUNG.

Love the work

I had one lady, I swear she arrived and she was old. I’m not ageist, however her face was very wrinkly and she looked ‘older than God’. She turned out to be younger than Aunty Christine, she has actually aged well. But this other lady, she was jumping up and down telling me all about how young and active she was because she wanted me to want more of her.

Older than God

I can also tell when carers prefer to spend time with clients who are intellectually handicapped, because they think they can do what they want, say what they want and they don’t get held accountable.

Intellectual Disability

It’s also challenging to keep or put boundaries in place because I am so friendly and independent. Who knew either of those things could ever be bad traits?

Bad Traits

So, carers sometimes come and go very quickly. You can have too much of a good carer and you burn out or get over a good thing and not enough of the awesomeness.

In recent years, if I rang my council and managed to get the ‘right’ person who knew my reasons and standards, I would be able to add someone to my ‘blocked list’ without questions.

Carer block list

Now, they require an Incident report and the first one was an embarrassing incident where I suffered a scraping type of injury about an inch above my “Chocolate Starfish”.

I don’t know why, since I generally dry there myself. But when I asked the trusted Aunty Christine, she swore black and blue (oh, how I love her) and that was that. No more ‘older than God’ carers.

Black and blue

The others, it seems to be, they come to work but would clearly prefer to be somewhere else. On their phones, arranging social activities with friends, doing parenting or maybe just filling in time. Since they don’t actually want to find ‘something’ to do. Having carers is a blessing and a hindrance and while I’m all about flexibility, there are limits.

Social Media

I can’t arrange my needs around their lives, if it’s dark at 5.10pm – (Autumn currently) the washing comes in by then. So, no can’t have you come early at 2.45pm because it’s too early and the shift is at 5.30pm.

So, the games go both ways and I’m usually the one who puts up with more or goes without, which starts to feel like a human rights issue.

Human Rights

 

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