All posts tagged Carers

Today’s Lunch – 21st March 2018

Published March 21, 2018 by helentastic67


Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

Good Mental Health Day

Another Wednesday creeps around, this week so far less stressful.

Although the usual drama organising carers to get organised to get out of the house (paraphrasing, I now live in an apartment) and get to an early appointment then home again in time for my 2pm carer. Does this ever end?


Today’s offering is Fungi Pizza with the side salad and my medicine. I’m not big on mushrooms but on a rare occasion maybe I’m feeling a little mouldy. (Get it?)












Happy Wednesday 1



Published March 19, 2018 by helentastic67



I think I have worked my way around having carers in my home very well. Here’s an example; I have a rewards system, they can gain points or lose points and they have no idea how to do either.

Carers in the home

I’ve been getting new carers recently to utilise my NDIS funding and I’ve had maybe four different providers in eight years because I’ve moved three times and under HACC they keep you in-house until they work out what your needs etc are, then they outsource you to an agency, if they can’t cover your hours or service requirements. So I’m getting kind of OK (good) at it.

Booking carers

  1. If I get a call from the office to tell me a carer is at my front door and they didn’t ring the doorbell. You lose a point.
  2. If you lie to me, if you continue to lie to me. You lose a point.
  3. You treat me like I have an intellectual disability (ID). Yes, you lose a point.
  4. You treat anyone without respect or humanity. Lose a point and my respect.
  5. You do your job. You get a point.
  6. You do your job well. You get a point.
  7. You do a shitty job well, with a smile on your face. You get a point.
  8. After an acceptable ‘cooling off period’ (undetermined) you can do what’s required without me asking you. Yes, you get a point.
  9. You have spare time and find something that you think requires attention and you just do it. You get a point.

Now, you have the basics let me give you an example.

Apart from the first one because that’s obvious. A new carer arrived and she had her earbuds (headphones) in her ear. She took one out and slipped her phone in her bag. I politely greeted her and she responded to me. I politely stated three different ways (can’t remember now exactly what I said, but it was a challenge) without outright calling her a liar.

Carer with earbuds

She kept insisting it was not on ever, after she first told me she could hear me. I still thought it rather rude, so I just politely told her I could still hear the music. She took her phone out, turned it off. For real this time and took out the earbud.

Liar liar

There is no specific score one gets or loses before I deem it relevant to contact the office and add them to a list call the ‘Blocked’ list.


I have a very active ‘Blocked’ list of girls I won’t have back to the point, if I speak to the right person they know my standards and my reasons and I am not required to explain myself.

blocked 1

Human Resources

Published February 9, 2018 by helentastic67

Human Resources

Human Resources

I’ve been putting off a major decision lately because it means I’m about to lose all my friends. I guess it’s not so much a decision, but more about timing.

Major decisions

Because I now have the NDIS funding, I have been allocated hours for more Carers, many more hours. But I can’t use more hours with my current Carer Provider. I need to start using an actual Agency.

My Carers over the years have been supplied through my Council, who only want to provide me with five hours a fortnight. Seriously!

What are you supposed to do with five hours a week, let alone over two weeks! Not much.

Because I’ve held off telling my grumpy Council I’ve been approved for the NDIS (because they would drop me like a hot potato).

Hot Potato 1

I will lose my mind, training a bunch of new Carers, to be able to cope with me and have them, I’ve started filling in the gaps that my Council didn’t provide.

That means Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday, Sundays. The last three weeks I’ve had a shower each day on the weekends.



I can shower myself. I can even dry and dress myself. But it’s exhausting and if I needs to wear a bra, I can get it on, but it’s never comfortable.

So far, I’ve had three new Carers, it seems there’s not many in my area and they are generally not prepared to travel for a shift shorter than an hour and a half.

I am much better at the whole HR-thing these days. (Human Resources) I’ve been getting Carers for about six to seven years now. My mum was very ‘keen to train’ my Carers, thinking it would be maybe, five Carers in a room and well, I don’t know what she was thinking.

I would love my current Carers (friends) to do a handover, but in reality, I get a new Carer, one at a time and induction begins the second they arrive.


I’m friendly and inviting and while I show them around I show them the list of ‘chores’ I would like them to be able to get through while they are there.

Dishes get done, Kitty litter changed, rubbish and recycling get taken out all while I’m in the shower. Nothing too challenging.

Kitty litter

But the personality match is always just as hard as finding someone who knows how to wash dishes. (Seriously, stay tuned for my training guide on how to correctly wash dishes.)

Washing dishes


Published January 29, 2018 by helentastic67



I’m not sure if it’s just Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or the whole disability, but I find I get blamed for all kids in my family or even just my home. I’ve had some new carers of late and one is my new Saturday/Sunday lady. She wouldn’t come for less than 90 minutes, so I figured I could make it work by giving her some odd cleaning jobs.

Clean fridge

Nothing major, but on a Saturday, I’ve asked her to clean a shelf in the fridge (it will be all clean eventually) and other things that rarely get done (cleaning the cutlery drawer or cleaning the front of the kitchen cupboards). The second Saturday, after washing went on the line, I know she didn’t do any of the other tasks as she had found the new foodie magazine on the dining room table.

Magazine on table

She commented to me I really liked cooking and Donna Hay’s recipes were easy. When I remarked to my mum, she said it was my fault, I left the magazine out on the table.

Donna Hay

The message was rather scathing, I didn’t know where else I was to have put it, in my own home…

It’s my home, I don’t leave out bills, cash, bank statements. I’m wondering if anyone else experiences this?

I can’t wait until I get my next Neuro psych, I’ve had countless, but my mum is insisting on being there next time. (pointless/counterproductive) and she wants to be there for the debrief.


She says it’s so she can better understand my ABI, but I know it’s going to lead to me better understanding my behaviour and then changing it to suit the family.


Nearly fell over on the tram today, Yes! It was the day I was carrying that darn cool-bag, but still number 1.

Why do people who don’t fit the criteria to take up those seats with signage stating they are for people who are elderly, disabled or pregnant. While I’m here, can pregnant ladies not sit in my seat in their first trimester. Please! You just look a little fat, sorry. Save it until you’re nine months pregnant.

Disability seating

Today, I wriggled up by asking a young woman to hold my walking stick, being weighed down by both my bags. It took an effort to push myself up.

I put my hand on the wall behind the driver’s cabin and had to balance so as not to fall backwards when the tram lurched forward. I stumbled and a woman behind me to the right, screamed out that I had trodden on her foot.

Stepping on toes

She dropped the F* Bomb to describe how much it hurt. I muttered an apology, but I had struggled to remain upright and had thrown my right hand up and grabbled the headrail. The woman holding my stick looked at me concerned, I think she wondered when to give me the stick and I had to wait for the tram to stop. I will often lean my shoulder or hip against that wall of the driver’s cabin to get my balance.

Falling over

I had to ignore the woman who complained I’d hurt her foot. I had apologised and I think her feet weren’t anywhere near her seat and she hadn’t realised how precarious my situation had been nor did she care.

I did notice she didn’t look like she had any of the pre-requisites of taking up those seats.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to fix this situation…

fixing it

Hot off the Press – 13th November 2017

Published November 13, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press 1311

Hot off the Press

So, Monday. I can now confirm I have a cold, it’s the second this year, not happy at all. I guess, a week ago I found about four boxes of tissues in the cupboard and thought rather than suffer a lecture from mum when they had to be packed, I’ll just get a cold use all the tissues and go buy more! Had to do the crazy admin and phone calls to arrange disconnections and reconnection. Locked in removalists and a cleaner and growled at a few people to encourage funding to pay for things. In full packing mode and feeling like the worst case of OCD ever!

Have a cold











Tuesday, had three lovely volunteers to help pack, it’s all coming together. Visit at the end of the day from Michael, who has helped me with my never-ending battle to empty my freezer and I gave him a two-course meal for dinner, all while still dealing with this cold.


Wednesday, I hope you caught my Foodie post?

Thursday, I’ll just point out the last three nights (just give it to me) I’ve gotten to bed by 1am! Winning! Early start at 8am, to get out on the povo-trail. (Poverty: shit you do when you’re poor) my Josh was to get my first month’s rent. Tick! My bond, (still to happen) and I have $300 towards my removalist costs. To be continued. ……………

Poverty Trail

Friday, can’t believe I got here. My first service provider (where I get my carers from) has managed to inhibit my ability to be independent. Ironic since it’s one of their core-messages of why you would want to choose them. (anyway, I have no words to describe how I feel about this) I’ve requested carers twice this week and not had them provided. (I wonder who polices the Service Providers) Packing is coming together, even got out on Hellonwheels today and came home with six more boxes. So many things this week I’ve put into place only to ask for help to pay for my cleaner, or whatever and rather than come to the party I was given more work! Gggggrrrrrrrr………. Even given new information, would have been useful to have before I had to organise these things myself. I have organised everything for the move, including volunteers to help move some of the more delicate breakable things so I can make it easier for my removalists.


The first agency quarantined some of my funding thinking they would be providing most of my supports. As they started to struggle to do this, I moved some of those required services to the second agency but the first agency never released that funding making the other one, then two agencies run at a loss to keep me receiving services. Have I mentioned how I hate having a disability makes me a commodity? I’m feeling like I’m being milked, but under serviced. That just got weird didn’t it?


So, my last weekend at address 1/111 and there are not enough boxes still. Only a few more days until I move and I’ve started getting plants to go to their new homes and my bonsai to Mr Miyagi, to be re-potted. They will return once I’ve moved.


Bonsai 1










Late Sunday night mum arrives and is pleasantly surprised how much is done and I’ve still got the damn cold! I’m coughing up a lung now so I’m far from thrilled. Let’s see how well the next week goes.

Cheers, H

new beginnings

I.D. is not ABI

Published October 6, 2017 by helentastic67

ID not ABI

I.D. is not ABI

Apples and Oranges, it is often that people will assume all people with Brain Injuries are idiots or in some way Intellectually Disabled.

(I.D.) to be fair, it depends if that person was an idiot before they got their ABI or how long they were in a coma (if that is relevant) No idiots ‘here’ I promise!

One of the people in my ABI network had a rant the other day about an organisation I’ve only heard of recently.

There was no background for why I needed to hear the rant, but one of my fearless leaders in her need to rant explained said organisation was originally based around providing services for people or carers of people with I.D. In recent times, they have expanded their services to be more inclusive (don’t we ‘love’ that word?) to cater to other disabilities.


All of this is relevant as my mother now months passed did some ‘training’ with said organisation where there were only 11 other ‘carers’. The training was for how to do the application for the funding for NDIS. The training was 2 days a week over 6 weeks and mum travels (unfunded) 3 ½ hours each way to do these things. She generally stays an extra day and by the 6th week she was here a whole week.


By the last week, we had really had enough, to be fair, mum has a foot in both worlds. When she’s home, she doing “her stuff”, but I’m sure it plays on her mind what I need help with. When she’s here with me, she’s mindful of being home to work and make some money.

Like a Rockstar, my mum might arrive at midnight and she leaves so late a few days later, she cranks me when she gets home and it’s 3am. If she doesn’t ‘crank-me’ I worry. I’m generally still awake anyway.


When Mum’s down, she is always very tired, she has her head in a book or culling emails as until recently, she has had 3rd world internet access where she lives.


No, really when my younger sister and mum are rarely visiting, they have their heads in their laptops and they are like two teenagers (67 and 28-year-old teenagers) and while I’m on it, now my mum has the NBN now, so I’ve lost one excuse not to go home at Christmas.

Anyway, I digress.

The training my mum participated in was with eleven others. I didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to attend also. I do manage all my own “day to day”, all my own accounts and dealings. But it became more obvious when mum explained to the other eleven people were carers for ‘kids’ with ID. Varying ages, from Primary school age to my age. But severe ID with complicated and multiple issues, including ‘PIKA’ – type issues.

No eyebrows, eyelashes, no whiskers on the cat – poor cat. Bad! Bad! Bad! Complex issues. Did I mention I live by myself?


While mum was down, she would constantly point out to me that I had to ‘act’ more responsibly in public, because the Disability sector and people with disabilities are being disrespected and I therefore had to carry myself in a way that was beyond reproach.

Training 1

If we were out shopping together, I might do a little grumpy ‘pout’ about something (I’m not beyond a little grumpy pout on occasion) but mum would growl at me and scold me.

“Remember what we talked about? Well, stop it!”

Yeah, that shit!

So, my point if you stayed with me is, when I found out the organisation in question was from an ID background it explains why mum was treating me less like someone who manages everything for myself.

Of course, I really now feel more for those with ID and how they get treated.

Ironically, when I’m out and about with my Carers, we chat all the way around the supermarket or wherever I have to go. Whatever topic we are discussing, we will put a ‘Pin-in-it’ when we have to stop and focus on a purchase or product or whatever else.


And then we walk to the next shop or location and the previous discussion continues.

If I’m telling my Carer about a topic that is a bit less – public consumption. I abbreviate to make a point and at times I turn my head toward them to deliver the punch line, so only they hear it.

They often burst out laughing and I can’t help but smile and this is often what people see of me when I’m out and about.

This is one of the huge differences between family and my carers. My carers are only concentrating on the moment. I know they get paid to be there with me, but we are engaged and however their day started, going out with me cheers them up. Whatever stress or drama they had going on earlier, I manage (without intending to) to take their minds off it.

I think this is my gift to those people who allow themselves to be immersed in spending time with me. Of course, I attempted to explain the difference, I found in my mum dealing with me when she’s attending this training and scolding me.

“How dare you…….. on how I choose to help you!”

That hurt.

Truly, this is why I blog!

I hope you can tell my mum and I love each other, however we often do better apart…

Mum and me

Hot off the Press – 25th September 2017

Published September 25, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press 2509

Hot off the Press

I don’t even know why I bother. Please God, why must I deal with so very many incompetent people in my life? I mean, big shout out to my wonderful administrator Noelle for all her great work on Hellonwheels/Lifeonehanded and the snort-laughing meme’s. They truly make my day! Why can’t everyone I deal with be so competent?


Monday! The goal for today has been find a carer I can spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen with me and smash out several dishes so food I have paid good money on doesn’t go to waste. Is it that hard to do?


My goal is to make three things a veggie curry, a veggie bake with a béchamel sauce. (That’s a very simple white sauce, for those who don’t know.) and lastly a bread and butter pudding. It’s proving challenging to get anybody. I don’t need to handhold in the kitchen, or teach, or who listens if all I have to have them do is suggest they read the recipe. I actually can do all of these things, singlehanded! But not all at once and not without complete exhaustion and probably a migraine.
To be continued………………….

Tuesday! Another day to test how well service providers (who provide my carers) can manage to stress me out and prove incompetent? I’m often sent carers where language can be a barrier. My first carer was from Japan, but has been here 15 years. I think she’s going to be one of my regulars.
The lovely Caroline arrived and I had a massage, if there is one good-thing it’s a massage.


My first agency to get my NDIS funding after my council (provider of HACC services) outsource my request for assistance for food prep. You know when they tell you Fred is coming and when they arrive they introduce themselves as Barney? (don’t know where this Flintstones reference came from, so it’s not intentional) Barney is from Greece and has been here maybe 10 years or less, I forget. Cannot explain the frustration of talking someone through how to put the compost into the worm farm! I shouldn’t need to micromanage that task to get it done……… Although success! By the end of the 2.5-hour session, the veggie curry was complete, the veggie bake with the béchamel sauce, done and my bread and butter pudding, while slap-dash is marinating overnight in the fridge before I bake it tomorrow night.

It’s always a challenge when carers who aren’t familiar with me or my home and I have to give directions to where they will find things it’s often easier for me to get things myself. Then of course, in the effort of getting things achieved in a time limit I often miss out on the actual ‘doing’. This is why it’s standard I spend some serious time in the kitchen before setting up and an equally serious amount of time cleaning up afterwards. Today I only managed to sit and have lunch 11 minutes before Barney arrived, but even after 9pm, I’m yet to have a hot cup of tea today as every time I try it goes cold as I multitask.

If all goes well, some of each of the savoury dishes will be collected before midnight and I won’t need to make much of an effort in the kitchen for the next few evenings. Definitely a night for the bench top dishwasher to go on twice. Winning!

Wednesday, standard Punchy/shabby day. Complete with foodie good mental health day.


Even got to get out on Hellonwheels and on the way home dropped in to visit Matt who has been building 9 brand spanking new apartments (that I cannot live in or afford to rent, but let’s move on!) There are occasionally days I’m wondering how weird the world is and why I meet ‘certain’ people? So, there was a guy chatting to Matt with his arm in a cuff and collar (which he was wearing incorrectly) and before he could ask me I got to ask him. “What’s wrong with your arm?” I was told I “had no idea” and the F*Bomb was mentioned. Not at me but in general…….let’s move on. I confess to say; my eyes went rather large and I gave Matt a bit of an eye roll as I wondered if he had not noticed my cuff and collar? I had also needed to manage my position on my scooter to cater to having both of them standing on my right so I could see them, without them staring into the late afternoon sun. (Aren’t I thoughtful) Now, I did not know this other guy from a bar of soap and I asked who he was? (A name would have been fine don’t be ridiculous.) He told me he was the bald guy in the Underbelly series at the end who is killed. Like I was supposed to remember who that was?

FYI. In the 90’s and early 2000 the Melbourne Mafia was doing a pretty good job at killing each other off. All with the goal of running the drug trade and gambling and ‘what-not’ (I wasn’t there, all I can say) I don’t have those relatives or contacts however, I know people who did and do however not with any illegal intent. (Yes! Very diplomatic and safe!) Nailed it!

So this guy….. let’s call him that man who has bullet shrapnel in his back and just about everywhere, by the sound of it and it impacts his spine and the doctors can’t even do an MRI. You don’t generally let Doctors do exploratory surgery around your spine without an MRI, so I’m perfectly fine with my AVM………Thanks for playing.

I meet some weird people, right?

Arrived home decided to use my reach-grabby-thingy to collect the rubbish that was mulched by the lawnmower 2 weeks ago. Went to use my front hose, that has not been used since last summer, and some BASTARD (presumably the landlord) cut it! I mean, seriously CUT my garden hose! My landlords have fruit trees in the front yard and waits until I’d been here several years before telling me I was not allowed to use the tap. They informed me it’s on a separate meter. I attempted to bucket out water for a few weeks and it caused a flare-up of my old and repaired disc-bulge. I don’t water my outdoor plants over winter. It rains, right?

Ggggrrrrrrrr, Matt dropped down on his way home and fixed the hose. I had a spare fitting and now I have to move the hose back to my scooter shed and only get it out when I use it.
I baked the pudding……

Bread and Butter pudding

Finally caught up on my admin and it’s after midnight. Next!


Thursday, it has come to my attention I might be making my existence sound way more exciting and adventurist than it actually is? I might dispel that now…… Lazy day at home today, washing on the line, visit from Bolton Clark (formerly known as RDN) They needed to check their key safe at my front door. Tammy the lovely nurse left me with a joke she had been told by a 95-year-old woman. I might write it up as a seperate post and spent some time updating the software on all my “I’s” (My iPhone, iPad and Laptop) FYI, I’m not rich I just used my one-off funding wisely about 3 years ago and going forward the NDIS will not be funding computers in the future. They believe every Australian household has a computer. I shouldn’t need to mention I wouldn’t have any of these “I” if I hadn’t been given that funding. Next!

Friday! There was a miracle because I made it to bed ‘early’ (both the definition of early and miracle are still in question) as it was 1am, when I crawled into bed, slept until 8am, (another miracle!) Don’t make me repeat myself……… Friday, such a long day, but fun times with my young carer while out shopping.


Rife social chat with Pat the Butcher, Aiden the young veggie produce guy (sounds cheesy but seriously) and the lovely checkout chick. (It’s weird when I watch the same TV shows as people half my age……like Glow) I got to explain Alison Brahe won the Dolly model of the year competition in the 80’s when I was a teenager before she married a Daddo! (Cameron Daddo) which is like Australian Royalty.

Smashed out another veggie bake tonight. Tuesday’s went so well, but as I gave away more than I ate and I didn’t keep any for leftovers, I did heaps of prep work while my carer was doing her chores, cleaning and vacuuming. Then I spent more time in the kitchen after she left. Finally got to sit at 8pm for my coffee and custard scroll. My Friday symbol of the week is finally over! Feeling like a zombie!

Not sure I’ll even make it to 1am tonight. Otherwise, a beautiful spring day in Melbourne reaching 25………otherwise, a great quiet weekend. Lots of laundry and a rude awakening from I presume my nosy landlady at 8am Sunday morning. I presume that’s when one weeds their tenants front garden? Gggggrrrrrrr….. another week dawns! Let’s go!
Let’s see if I head from the NDIA gets back to me about my need for medically approved extra-depth shoes? My chiropractor? Or how about my shrink? No, probably not! I’m not holding my breath obviously.

Here’s some pictures of things I’ve encountered or made in the last week, see if you can pick which is which?

GardenDoorMindful colouring








Bread and Butter


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