We invited members of our community to share their experiences and perspectives of aged care services. Disclaimer: These stories have not been independently verified. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of Aged Care Reform Now and are shared for information purposes only.
Because I have a cognitive disability, as well as being old, I have even greater difficulty negotiating the In-Home Care package. Because I have ADHD, my mind is always racing, and I find it hard to stay focused on what is being said. This presents a huge problem when trying to find a suitable service provider.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 70 and 10 years before with a high-functioning form of autism called Aspergers Syndrome. Because my mind is all over the place, I often forget to eat. Most days I skip breakfast and lunch because I am living in my head and working on my computer. But this is not good because I have diabetes 2 and should be eating regular meals throughout the day.
So what I wanted from my first service provider that I was with for the last 18 months was to help me with meal planning and preparation of healthy snacks. This does not sound very hard to me, for someone who is organised, but it proved to be an impossible task for each of the four carers sent to me.
So too was assisting me with housework. I had to pay extra for that. I have now left that provider and am looking for a new one. I am not up to self-managing my own package so I need to find a provider and this is proving to be a challenge. I have ability as well as disability and want both aspects of me to be taken into account, not just the latter.
Having someone to help me organise my life would be so helpful. It would stave off the anxiety and overwhelm I feel all the time which probably plays havoc with my high blood pressure.
Do you need support? OPAN provides free services to support older people and their representatives address issues related to Commonwealth-funded aged care services and informs people of their rights and responsibilities: 1800 700 600 or opan.com.au