All posts tagged Carers

Hot off the Press – 12th June 2017

Published June 12, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press 1

I guess it’s as good as time as any to mention that Australia has a lot of long weekends. Well, I don’t know what the correct number to define ‘a lot’ but we have a few. It generally puts me in a good mood because it means I get to put ‘work’ aside and some of my ‘off-grid’ routine spreads from Saturday to Monday and in this case Tuesday even. This long weekend we can thank the Queen’s Birthday. (Officially, it was way too hard to explain, why so for some crazy reason I don’t know we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday on her actual birthday and for some crazy reason we do so a second time on a weekend in June. Far be it for me to complain. BAM!)

It seems better than that, while the VU (soz, Victoria University; Osteo) students have completed their year and Tuesdays RMIT (not apologising for this one; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology; Mio/Remedial) students have finished also I no longer have weekly appointments on these days for a few months. So, my Tuesdays just cleared up.

Victoria University

It’s a very good thing as I am usually out 5 days a week, having appointments, scheduling, dealing with people who are not always doing their jobs properly, making my very existence very challenging. So, weekends mean I can’t follow-up with people who avoid my calls or emails all week long. I’m forced to take a break and concentrate on other things.

This weekend, so far, I’ve read 2.5 comics. I know…. sad. But the 1/2 counts. I’ve also been crossing off some TV shows. Nothing worth mentioning but remind me to tell you my Hot firemen story? You heard me. You have to wait……

Reading comics

Saturday single girl date night actually included a film! I watched, not for the first time Memoirs of a Geisha. Including the extras. Totally worth it.

No house-hunting to report, cannot get back into it. Everything I even check out online is not actually still available. I can’t get to the openings on a Saturday morning, and they are all too much for too little or too far from where I currently reside. Meanwhile, winter has hit and I’m already seeing my breath inside my home. It’s ridiculous.

Still no sign of my new fur-baby. Can’t afford the food or kitty litter anyway, so not happy! Wednesdays pilgrimage to the supply store where I get a fix of unconditional love from Bella/Killer was exceptional yet again. She throws herself against my shoe and I get to give her lots of pats. And no vet bills, etc.

Fur baby

I’ve started to spread my carers over 3 different agencies. I’ve a deadline now of mid-September to say good bye and replace the irreplaceable carers I’ve been getting from my council under HACC for the last 4 years. Seems an impossible task and stubbornly I don’t wanna. But I have to.

Had a few disasters in the kitchen, my carrot cake going into the bin, and my first effort at the Chocolate self-saucing pudding. Made a second today with a little help from my carer and the right oven temperature and foil made the second effort acceptable. Don’t worry I share it so I can’t eat it. Promise.

Kitchen disaster

Nothing else really to report, although I’m still on plunge coffee so not enjoying my medicine (coffee) as much and don’t know when this will change.

Glad I re-implemented my Wednesday lunches, it costs from $8-$15 so why can’t I when it gets me out, allows me lunch before 5pm, and I usually write posts for my blog, perhaps this week I’ll take a comic…. see if I can stay on a roll? I really should start posting my delicious lunches on a Wednesday. Might call it “lunch on Helen’s Punchy/Stabby day?”

Wednesday lunch

Well, it’s typical that first thing Monday my carefully laid plans go to shit because of the incompetence of my services, only certain staff volunteer to work on a public holiday. They do get paid better and from my end I will be lucky to see a carer I’ve had previously, they usually get lots of difficult clients they have never had before. My carer was promised at 9am. It’s now after 1pm and I’m still waiting. Need to get my extra-long weekend back on track.

Great week




Hot off the Press – 17th April 2017

Published April 17, 2017 by helentastic67

Happy Easter 1

Happy Easter!

Although I’m tapping this out on Sunday night in Melbourne, OZ. And this will go live Monday. Hopefully.

Easter always seems to be an excuse or a reason for families to get together. I live in the middle of my family. Definitely closer to part of my family but as I have no direct family of my own ie. Children/significant other(husband) I still consider my actual family to be my 2 parents and 2 siblings. One older the other much younger. I’ve not seen or heard from any of my family on Easter.
Wait! Mum just rang. It’s nearly 11pm! We spoke for over half an hour, and when I say that I mean my mum talked mostly and I listened.

on phone

Has been a really weird weekend. I normally pack my week with all the ‘busy things’ so I can go off-grid on Saturday and not do much more than eat, sleep, catch up on TV shows and cups of T(tea) and this plan was largely thrown by the fact that Good Friday was a public holiday and the day I have a carer to taken shopping, I could not go.

shopping 1

My carer was open to my asking me out for a few hours on Saturday, so very grateful I’m going to be contacting the office on Tuesday to make sure she is paid for the 2 extra hours she gave up of her weekend.

But after returning home around 4pm on Saturday, I still put all of my groceries and purchases away, took the tags off some new tops to wear around the house, I made a béchamel sauce and threw together a pasta bake for a friend who moved house this weekend. Ergo! Hate moving house! I finally made my own standard Saturday lunch and ate around 6pm.

Standout TV show this weekend I highly recommend is called Taboo. Sometimes, I see adverts or a mention somewhere and if a show looks good I add it to a Dream List. When I eventually start to watch it, maybe a year or 2 has passed and I can’t recall what made me add it to the list but I’ll give you 2 words. Tom Hardy. At first, he looked familiar and after a search on the google machine. There is plenty he has been in I’ve seen. Taboo itself is an odd little mystery, slowly peeled back to reveal much in only 8 episodes. Short and sweet, sometimes how I like it.


Anyway, managed to read 2 comics since last week and still 5 years behind. But still noteworthy. Hope you had a lovely Easter, I guess I should get. My 2 Lindt bunnies out of the fridge. They have been in the fridge since I bought them 2 months ago. It will take me the rest of the year to chip away at them, even the hazelnut one.


Handy Hints #467

Published January 2, 2017 by helentastic67


Handy Hints #467

I don’t know how many handy hits I’ve had so far, but it’s definitely not 467. This advice I was given from a Naturopath friend who is now retired. She also had a lifetime of wisdom as a Nurse. Her advice was this;

You may not realise your biggest organ is your skin! And if you are sick with a cold you might consider putting garlic inside your sock’s. Your soles of your feet will absorb the garlic and you will breath garlic very soon, enough to keep away Vampires!


Pop Quiz!

Who knows what your biggest organ is?

If you answered “Your skin!” you would be correct. I ask my carers the first time they have a shift with me as part of their induction.


Most people might be familiar with Arnica being used for bruises. I use it for brain swelling.


Arnica is really good for bruises. Helps draw them out so they can get better and go away quicker.

But you can really slather your head with it, it’s easier to put some on the “soft spots” of your body because they absorb quicker.

The soft spots are as follow’s

  1. The inside of your elbow.
  2. The inside of your thigh.
  3. The underside of your belly. (About 3 inches below your belly button (just guessing).
  4. The underside of your breasts (Ladies)

My carers do the cream inside my elbow. Specialists cleared me of brain swelling years ago, however a little dab every day can’t hurt and I really notice the difference when I do too much, stress too much and the pressure behind my eyes builds, every bit helps.

Arnica can be bought from Health Food Shops and I think it’s a staple for every bathroom.


Fridays Are The Best

Published October 24, 2016 by helentastic67


Fridays Are the Best!

I confess to say I don’t work! I prefer to say I’m retired, however the image that conjures is wealth and comfort and holidays. That’s the complete opposite of my version of retirement.

But my confession is not about that it is that despite not being able to work right now, I really enjoy and look forward to Fridays! No, really!

Friday for me means everything that needed to be done, was done. And on Fridays I go shopping with my Carer, young Janus.


I park a CD or MP3 player and despite it being a short drive to the local shopping complex, we rock out to some tunes! On one occasion another Carer (51) took me shopping. I parked a CD however her son had given her a CD so we listened to Eminem instead. At one point we stopped at a busy crossroad for traffic and she was compelled to turn it down. It was funny, I was laughing so hard I was in tears. I commented to her about Eminem (every other word was the F*Bomb!) I mean why is Eminem having such a hard time in life?” (It’s rhetorical BTW)

Another time recently, one of my other regular Carers (55, whom I’d seen previous 3 days already) took me shopping. I mentioned a CD and she shot me down! I just gave it to her “You’re boring!”

I joked, she was going on the ‘Blocked list’ for shopping! So, that added bonus to Friday is listening to music when I’m out encourages me to come home and put on more music.

And to say music is my best motivator is a vast understatement.

Since returning from shopping, I’ve re-potted a plant/reorganised some cook books, painted the 1st coat of a tray I bought over a year ago (shuddup! It’s been a process) and I’ve already got a head start on tonight’s ‘admin!’

The sure sign that my week is over is when I’m sitting on the couch with my daily coffee and my Friday treat! Which is a Custard Scroll.










Preferable, I’ve even had my lunch way before 5.30pm. It’s rare, but has been known to happen.

By the end of tonight, I do my admin and put my diary aside until Sunday night!

Saturday’s, I go off-grid! No emails! No Facebook! No diary! No appointments!

Sunday’s I try to pull the weekend back together, to do ‘all-the-things I’ve not done and then Monday it all starts again!

The end.


Smashed it!

Published October 6, 2016 by helentastic67


Smashed it

Totally smashed it!

There are times I really hope my Carer doesn’t turn up in the morning, take one look at the state of my kitchen and walk out claiming stress leave.

I do know when some of my Carers look at the state of the kitchen and grumble a little at the mess, but I also know they inhale as they walk in the door and inquire as to the aroma.


I’m generally grateful if it’s incense or essential oils and not kitty litter.

But tonight I completely smashed it in the kitchen. For a one-handed numpty I have big ideas and I’m lazy for days but then put some music on and get lots of ingredients out until there’s not much space to work with and about 2 hours later, I’ve achieved brilliance. Or at least I think so.

Tonight, while drinking my coffee while standing, I smashed out some pancakes, mushrooms baskets and a cauliflower and white sauce bake…


And the dishwasher is currently on and possibly going on again later.

I didn’t get to the simple Napoli sauce or the “whatever the other thing I intended to make” but I’m sure I can do that tomorrow night!


It’s not quite 8.30pm and I’m still eating dinner tonight earlier than last 4 nights.


Caring and Sharing

Published June 3, 2016 by helentastic67

Caring and sharing

Caring and sharing…

So, part of needing carers a huge problem is rostering.

Over the years I’ve dealt with many, many people who have done the rostering and my expectations have moved a great deal to cater to the irregularity and unexpectedness of when and who will turn up!

I need a lot of sleep and like most of us, I don’t get nearly enough, I often do my ‘best work’ late at night and struggle to wake up and engage my brain!

Don’t worry, I can answer the phone if it wakes me and snap right into ‘work’ mode! But I really do try to sleep up to my carer arrives and rings the doorbell.

Or at times the office rings me to tell me my carer is at the front door.

Today, I had requested a carer for 9 am, because I didn’t have an appointment out until 12.30 pm and it was local and I could scooter there.

Lots of the carers are away at the moment so I was looking forward to seeing someone I haven’t seen in maybe 6 months. I was told she would arrive at 8.45 am. I know, it sounds positively pedantic but if you don’t sleep until 2 am, every minute counts!

I wish this could be a more interactive experience right now so I could say;

“Who wants to guess what time she came?’ And more importantly “Who wants to guess what time her roster said?”

That’s right! 8.20 am!!!! WTF!

So, it’s any wonder after an eventful day I couldn’t make it past 8.30 pm without a ‘kip’ on the couch. Had an hour which helped me power through the rest of the night of dinner, emails and chores. And despite this my left eye hurts.

Pills, I think and off to bed!

Held Hostage

Published March 11, 2016 by helentastic67

Ginger Cat 1


Once upon a time our family had a cat which had kittens. There was a Ginger cat which was called “Ginger Biscuit”. It very briefly had a rather wry misname of ‘Crumb’ when Mum baked out of the drive way and it didn’t get out of the way. It sustained a broken leg and after a very expensive trip to the vets, came home with a metal rod in its leg. He survived to sun bath on our concrete for his vitamin D, but alas that’s just background. The temperament of this particular cat was really sweet. I once picked him up and sat with him on the couch. At the start he didn’t much go for my need to sit with him on the couch, so I had to hold him to my chest with both arms. Poor Biscuit didn’t have a chance really, however luckily within 2-4 minutes he was touched in and fast asleep purring…

There is something about having a disability and being taken away from your home where you can maintain some of your own independence that is like being held hostage.

When at home, I can pretty much fend for myself. I don’t leave the house every day of the week if I can help it and I prefer to have the help of a carer on the days I do leave the house, but when I’m out of my comfort zone I have to rely on the volunteer assistance from family or friends. I cannot do my own hair, trim my own fingernails or toenails or dry and dress in a timely manner and endeavour. Eventually, like Ginger Biscuit I just accept fate and take what I can get, make the most of it and go to sleep.

And this plays on the depression.

If you think it’s a 1st world problem that I can’t do my own mani/pedi, I should be so lucky! My nails are soft these days and bend back causing pain, my left toenails if too long get stubbed and badly damaged. My left fingernails get in the way when I’m trying to exercise that hand and keep my fingers flexible. So, yes? My fingernails are an issue. But if you want a stronger example: try this.

Met a woman from the Barwon District, who had come to tell us of her experiences of the NDIS being piloted in her region.

She was in a wheelchair and probably in her late 40’s – early 50’s. She had a package to provide her carers and as she needed a Carer to go from bed to her wheelchair where she spent her day and to a toilet and back to her chair or bed, you might like to imagine the timing of her carers could be rather critical.

She gave the example that one particular day, she couldn’t wait to go to the toilet and her carer was some hours away, so she rang her service providers to request her carer earlier.

They could not provide it to her.

As she sat in her chair on the stage, she told us she couldn’t wait and in the best of spirits announced to us that when her carer did arrive at the rostered time she would have more of a mess to clean up!

Now, I’ve had some “shitty days!” But she was so brave to announce it to us like that and can you imagine it’s a way some people get held hostage to a situation far from their control…


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