Service Providers

All posts tagged Service Providers

Self Advocacy

Published March 11, 2020 by helentastic67

Self Advocacy

So, help me God! There are some days Advocacy is needed for everything and the simplest things. Tuesday, I met with my Service Co-ordinator (in old terms my Case Manager) and I mentions to her again, I’m still yet to be sent hard copies of any of my invoices. I seem to have this conversation EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE MY SERVICE CO-ORDINATOR.

Nothing changes, to be clear I’m not doing my part wrong. I’m not using poor communication/negotiation skills. It’s just people not wanting to do their jobs or not wanting to be monitored or held accountable.

So, I get an email with my invoices every month, which I can’t print, so I’ve asked for hard copies. I also now have to argue and debate it’s NOT EASIER on the computer screen. Because with my eyesight I can’t chop and change between two spreadsheets on my laptop to make sure my records of who turned up on what date for how long is the same as what I’ve been billed for. It’s no longer my money, but I still wanting to know the $70,000 is about making my life better, as it’s designed and not lining the pockets of companies and people who want to work smarter not harder.

It’s my opinion, the cost of printing my invoices and posting them out to me should at their expense, because they can absorb the costs.

They are not doing it for everyone, but I can impress upon people (other clients) they can insist on it. So, rehashing this every few months seems I mention it to my Service Co-ordinator, she then calls my Service Providers, who call me to argue and debate out of providing a service and be held accountable.

I’m pushing back.

And then, after a short tram ride home, after my one appointment today, I work my way to the door of the tram an while I stay on my walking stick is between my teeth and holding on the hand rail on the right hand side of the door I go to step down.

My tram line does not as yet have the accessible tram stops, so it’s a big step up or down to the road. I’m encountered by a hand reaching up, just near mine and a leg stepping up. I don’t know where she thought she was going since I couldn’t get down without the hand rail. She didn’t even look up to see me. She said “Sorry” but she obviously didn’t mean it, because you would think (crazy me and my common sense, right) that she would rethink what she was doing and stop and wait. No! She continued to attempt to step up. She was a teenager in her school uniform and twice as wide as me. (Not fat shaming, but suggesting she thought to use her size to intimidate me)

Do I sound like someone to dare try to intimidate? You bet. I put her in her place. Around the walking stick strap between my teeth I said to her.

“Are you seriously going to still try to get on this tram while I’m trying to get down?” and she waited for the split second it took me to get down. I just don’t understand how I need to tell someone they should wait for people to get off a tram, train, bus (This argument works for any form of public transport or transport even). Wait until people get off before you attempt to get on. Why is it so hard?

If only, then is their more room for you to get on. No?

FFS

Life Works

Published July 29, 2019 by helentastic67

Life Works

I have implemented many thing’s gradually over the years to make Life Work. Also, likely helps my brain be a bit happier, even though one of my processes requires at least an hour of my time on a Sunday every single week.

But I do it.

I have a spreadsheet a friend created for me, that I enter the details of carers I’ve had, from what time they started to what time their shift finished with me. The type shift it was (PC/HC/FP/Shopping/CA)

PC – Personal Care
HC – Homecare (also called General)
FP – Food Preparation
CA – Community Access

*Here’s the thing that should excuse my Service Providers, I even comment if they were late, didn’t turn up at all or the person I was expecting didn’t show and someone else did in their place and nobody bothered to call and tell me.

I guess, you might consider it part of my initial auditing system. It’s probably also, why a Service Provider I originally went with has never put my name forward to be called to be audited by the NDIS. Yeah.

One day, my Case Manager (Now called Service Co-ordinator) was on my computer while I was out of the room getting started on ‘something’ and I realized later I had been updating my spreadsheet before he arrived, despite it not being a Sunday.

After he left, I found sitting on my desktop a there was a screen-shot of my spreadsheet just sitting there. So innocently, um…

He had very obviously taken a screen shot to email it to himself and not thought to get rid of the evidence.

Did I mention it to anyone? Was it my fault? (not victim blaming) just being trusting. Obviously, I shouldn’t have had the file open or let him even on my computer. However, I don’t use them for any services anymore. I do not recommend them and if anybody asks, I don’t suggest them. Sounds bitchy, I am aware, however. Finally, the person who is always treated like a commodity, has the power. I can take my funding elsewhere.

This is why I’m often doing emails at 1am and going to bed so late. I wish my day ended at 5pm.

 

Wit

Published May 20, 2019 by helentastic67

WIT

People are often surprised by my wit or humour and speed to which I can deliver it. You may not pick it from my blog, but when I make calls to organise services and such, people often asked what “company” I’m from and this is even after I have stated I’m one of your clients.

But often, when I have to state my date of birth so I can be found on a database, I rattle off “28/10/72” I know they are just clarifying when they ask “1972?” but today I threw back “Well, I wasn’t born in 1872!”

There must be a better way so as not to suggest I might be 146, I could have said just ‘Yes’, but where’s the fun in that?

Today’s Lunch – 5th December 2018

Published December 5, 2018 by helentastic67

Todays Lunch

Today’s Lunch

Good Mental Health Day

As per usual, just when my Wednesday settles back into a comfortable routine there is a spanner thrown into the works. If you need a reminder, my Wednesday used to completely revolve around lunch at my favourite cafe followed by a short walk to chiropractor then tramming it back to acupuncture close to home then a hearty walk home. But because one of those things relocated from Clifton hill away from the tram route that I rely on. I would catch taxi’s however I am lucky young John fits me into his schedule and doesn’t charge me, in his words because he says he’s a “decent human being”, and I otherwise cannot afford to do taxis and the NDIS expects me to Uber. Hell NO! So, I started getting a carer for a rather lengthy shift just to get me to my standard Wednesday appointments.

Normal Plan

Just pointing out I don’t need handholding for 4 hours but here we are and you may wonder about this “red-tape” I’ve mentioned previously in regards to funding for disability? I learned yesterday the NDIS has decided I can’t use core supports (fancy word for carer hours) to cover the mileage for my carers. I will now be billed for that separately. Only .80cents a kilometre, but if you add it up for the year? Ouch! After consulting the lovely Noelle, my blog administrator and the person solely responsible for my memes, her son also a client of the NDIS recommended I have mileage written into my service provider agreements.

Red Tape

My other solution is to only use the providers who don’t charge for mileage. My Friday chick who takes me shopping claims hers I believe on her tax, which makes me favour her for community access shifts. Are you picking up my subliminal messages of all the new names and terms for things under the NDIS? Yes, let’s recap, shall we?

Service Providers – Companies that provide carers or other needs funded and registered with the NDIS.

Core Supports – The name given to funding allocated for hiring person carers or support Workers.

Subliminal – Like, how I’ve been sneaking it into your minds that not all brain injuries are the same.

The general consensus is that all people with brain injuries sit in a corner and drool without conscious thoughts and you are getting it that I don’t have that kind of brain injury. Nailed it!

Brain Injury

Also, today is different again and not getting to my favourite cafe at all. Instead going to a free screening of a film called Defiant Lives.

https://defiantlives.com/

Lucky for you I managed to get a quick coffee break last Friday in between missions and my Friday chicks, really should call her my Girl Friday. Had this delicious little treat. It’s half a lemon tart and medicine.

Lemon TartLatte 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may squeeze in a medicine at a more local cafe close to home before I get home. To be continued……….

Latte 2

Oh, and here is my first calla lily out on my balcony garden. Only planted them a few months ago.

Calla Lilly 1Calla Lilly 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,
H

Wonderful Wednesday 1

When Disability Becomes Embarrassing – Part 3

Published September 24, 2018 by helentastic67

When Disability become Embarrassing 3

When Disability Becomes Embarrassing – Part 3

Stacey

The following day, I went looking for a particular speaker and topic at the conference, that others in my group were looking for.

It was something about “sex after ABI” for example. I find the right room and joined some fellow guys I already knew. This won’t be awkward right? Since he had given me his business card, the night before.

Sex after ABI

The guys I knew and I looked around thinking we were in the wrong place because it seemed everybody else in there were “industry-types” service providers, whatever.

Industry Types

Then in came the presenter.

That’s right, Stacey!

She started by recognising there were more industry-types there than she expected. I suspect she had wanted to empower people with ABI’s that sex could still be a natural part of life post ABI.

Sex is natural

Here’s an example:

Stacey2 (not related to Stacey) had, had a stroke. She had her stroke while having sex (a little rumpy, humpy) with her husband.

Stroke during sex

There was a moment of sadness in the room when we heard this. Apparently, the married couple had a very healthy sex life before the stroke.

Healthy Sex Life

So, when in hospital, when she was able to get up and move around, they attempted to have sex in the hospital.

Sex in the hospital

Must put this one on the bucket list.

Bucket List

We were made to understand it was perfectly normal and for them vitally important to be able to continue and maintain a normal sex life for them as part of her rehab and existence.

Sex in Rehab

You might ask how they did this?

Stacey informed us they did it standing in the bathroom with her holding onto the handrails. And success apparently.

Sex in the Bathroom

Now, Stacey 1, asked us a question. She asked us, what happens when we reach climax? (or orgasm). The room was dead silent.

What happens when you orgasm

I piped up,

“What? Your muscles tighten?”

Stacey was impressed and said I was correct. The industry-type people checked me out wondering how I knew.

How do you know

Exactly!

So, I struggled a little and said,

“It’s been a while, but……”

It's been a while

The following day, at the end I walked Stacey out because I had enjoyed spending time with someone ‘normal’ as you do surrounded by numpties all the time. She thanked me for being her “Conference Friend” Sad face…

Sad face

Stay tuned for the lesson I gave Fred.

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

Tissues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Volunteer

Wednesday, I hope you caught my Foodie post? https://hellonwheelslifeonehanded.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/todays-lunch-8th-november-2017/

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.

Packing

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?

Carers

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

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

Hot off the Press – 3rd July 2017

Published July 3, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press 030717

Another weird week has passed! Finished three comics and felt a moment of joy at this until I saw an advert for a Comic Con, in the States. The advert stating “Coming in September in 2015!” Growl!

Comic Con

Went out for dinner Tuesday night with some friends. Damo and my Boo. More later on Damo, however my Boo is one of my lovely gay friends who takes us out every now and again for adventures. We went to a ‘Place’ for dinner, prompting me to give people a pop quiz.

What suburb was this place in and what food did they specialise in? It was called Coburger and Co. Hint: There is a suburb in the North of Melbourne called Coburg. This pop quiz really threw a few people and they live here.

Coburger

It’s going to be a monthly adventure ongoing as it’s good to catch up with friends and have a laugh. My chicken burger with Kim chi set my mouth on Fire!

Wednesday for some crazy reason, I had a weird song in my head that I proceeded to share with Young John and Maria my Chiro who I’ve been seeing for over 12 years.

This song is a bit of an ear-worm so it quickly prompted her to thank me because she couldn’t get it out of her head either. Your welcome! Try the link at the bottom for a taste of Aussie/wog culture from the 80’s! As I prompted Young John….feel free to join in!

 

This week I decided to call my father. I only see him once a year. The only time I speak to him is if and when I call him. I attempted to express how much I needed his help. How I’ve spent money on new pants in time for winter ($24). How often I do my laundry so I can utilise my warmest tops. I even attempted to express how my fur-baby had been good for my mental health. Let me just say I used to be much better at guilting my father into helping me, because it would seem that’s my role in our family. I will also say it was half an hour of my life I will never get back!

Thought I would have a nice Thursday at home, but while I was at home I instead spent the afternoon chasing up services that didn’t just happen. Really wish my service providers would get their shit together to do their jobs.

Friday morning, I had a visit from a vampire. Taking my blood for a barrage of tests. Said vampire asked when I would see my GP again? It’s ok, if there’s anything noteworthy he will call me. Just checking up on the iron levels and such and the crazy lady hormones.

Vampire

Not sure if I’ve expressed sufficiently how cold my home is in winter or the cheek I have with my carers however, Friday I gave my carer the Coo-Wee! That signalled I was ready for her help in the bathroom and after a deafening silence I heard the doorbell. Not uncommon however Aunty Christine was in the house this day and she has been one of my regulars for over 4 years. So, only able to throw a towel over one shoulder I padded bare ass naked really to the front door to let her back in. Steam coming off my very warm body and prompting Aunty Christine that she was not yet ready for her apprenticeship to be done.

Doorbell

Come a September I lose these carers I’ve had for the longest. I don’t have any new girls who I imagine will take their place.

Had an extra visit to my favourite cafe with my Friday afternoon carer so that was nice. Home again and smashed out a large slow cooker batch of minestrone the yield was about 8 Passatta bottles (300mls each). It’s always nice to gift someone a bottle of soup in winter when they have done something nice for me. I’m such a Nonna. (BT Dubs, that’s an Italian Grandmother!) I now need to offload half of the minestrone so I can make a batch of bolognaise sauce. Have I mentioned I don’t know how to cook for just one?

Minestrone soup

Now, despite my best efforts at times at avoiding lifting my slow cooker there are times carers don’t turn up or I can’t find someone to lift the very heavy ceramic bowl up onto the bench or to the sink to soak before washing etc. I imagine I lifted it about five times, which is about half the amount of times it moved in order for me to use it and empty every last drop of the minestrone soup from it. I shouldn’t lift it at all obviously so I do love when I have a carer my age who complains about how heavy it is. I nip their cries in the bud quickly stating “Tell me about it. I moved it one-handed!”

Slow cooker

I don’t make a habit of lifting heavy things one handed anymore as I think I can blame doing this for my disc-bulge surgery back in 2011. There are times now when I forget how long that year was getting diagnosed, suitably medicated and eventually surgery on 11/11/11, when I get some stabbing sensation in my lower back and I realise I’ve got to stop lifting heavy things and I’m really not ready for another year existing only by spending all my time lying on my bed.

Single girl date night I watched Trainspotting 2, the sequel to the 90’s film Trainspotting. Not as shocking as the first but a 20-year reunion to see what happened to these characters.

trainspotting 2

Meanwhile, another week passes and a nice busy week coming. Winter in Melbourne and wet. Super!

Should mention the best way to survive winter in Melbourne is layers, layers and layers. Oh, wool jacket, umbrella and great coffee! Handy hint if coming to town! I’ve been wearing wool under my jackets for months, I can only go one further by wearing my long-sleeved wool jacket under my heavier jacket. It’s already next Level.

Melbourne weather

The only upside is the very brilliant TV series filmed in Melbourne called Offspring has returned. If you have the opportunity watch it!

Offspring

Cheers H

Have a great weekMelbourne

Dear God

Published July 29, 2016 by helentastic67

 

stumbling_block_-_how_much

Dear God!

Dear God! And I could say ‘Dear Fred!’ but that might be confusing. Sometimes when life is too hard and you have thrown me one too many hurdles in life and I can’t take it anymore. And all I can do to make my point is to hold people to ransom until I am heard and someone helps me!

Anyway, this was not how I wanted my next post to start, but it seems the best way to tackle the topic of some ‘shit’ that went down today.

Some people may think my disability is not as bad as theirs or be irrelevant because it’s just a brain injury! Or because I don’t seem physically challenged by my disability! So to explain;

Monday, I found a new ‘fucked-up’ way to pull muscles in my back and all I was trying to do was lie down on a massage table face down! Yes! Really!

While I do manage to get out to appointments one way or another and I manage to get myself home usually in one piece, it comes at a price and can take its toll and definitely more of this “shit” later because right now this is not my point.

I still need to advocate for myself at times and when I’m smart enough to know I’m getting a raw deal from my ‘Service Provider’ and they should be doing better. I dread to think how they treat others and that’s when people like you ‘God!’ don’t have the ability to cope as well.

This is why I advocate for people with A.B.I’s.

Today, while at a Brain Injury Self Advocacy Group’s monthly committee meeting one of our new members ‘Fred’ (we will call him) burst into the room just as we were finishing.

Let me premise this by saying; Fred was having a much shittier day than I was up until that point and his multiple A.B.I’s proving to be far worse than mine. He was very angry and had been to court, hence missing the meeting.

He blasted us with random facts about his situation that we obviously needed to know. But, for all his many issues we work largely as a referral/networking service and while we tried to recommend some Advocacy groups. He told us they had been less than helpful and that is me paraphrasing what he actually had to say about them. What he should have said was they had been less than helpful to him and I imagine if he dealt with all his situations and troubles in life the same way, he informed us today that we were not of much use to him.

After about 15 minutes of dealing with Fred’s fury, I had to leave because I started to feel sick. I really respect Russell Brand when he has been known to say;

“I don’t have a drug problem; I have a dealing with life problem!”

And that is the problem with Mental Health and that is when dealing with Chronic Medical and Health issues, the thing, the thing & the thing that lead to the serious mental health issues it’s hard to cope with the shit that happens and how to deal with them, so the already fragile mental health doesn’t get worse.

Now lastly, I don’t know that everyone followed this post and while the intention, the meaning and the conclusion, my point or at least a little out of it.

Now for a cuppa T.

stumbling

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