What Services are Available?
If you're caring for someone at home, there are a number of services to help and support you in your caring role.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can help your loved one with a disability with the support they need to live a more independent life. Supports and services include:
- Home maintenance and modification including repairs, garden maintenance and installation of things such as handrails and ramps
- Goods and equipment including providing items such as a walking frame or a raised toilet seat
- Support staff to assist the person with a disability to go shopping, cook and assist with personal care
- Supported employment
- Day programs to learn lifestyle skills, make friends and do things within the community.
- Social groups to build peer friendships and interactions at community venues.
- Allied health including Occupational Therapy (help to recover or maintain your physical ability) and physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance) which can also help with techniques for safe lifting
- Short-term accommodation, which allows you to take a break while the person you care for stays in an alternative supported house
- Independent Living Centres, which carry a wide range of products and equipment to help manage disabilities in daily life
NADO has many of these services available and can also refer you to external appropriate services.
There are also things that you can do to make your home safer and more comfortable for the person you care for. There may be small changes you can make to the way a home is laid out to help the person you care for move around. You may want to consider:
- arranging furniture to give plenty of room to walk around freely and keeping the environment uncluttered
- removing loose rugs and sealing carpet edges that may be trip hazards.
If the person you care for needs to be lifted, such as from a chair to a bed, then this can be a complex task. Back injuries are a common concern for carers. To make sure you're lifting in the correct way:
- ask an Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist or Community Nurse to help you work out the safest way to lift or transfer the person you care for. Also, ask about aids to assist with lifting. You can discuss these needs in the NDIS planning to ensure the person who has the disability has the safest care possible.
You may also want to consider:
- developing an emergency care plan to assist you to provide alternative care arrangements for the person you care for if you suddenly become ill or have an accident. It is particularly important to have a plan in place if the person you care for has limited mobility. This will assist you should there be a situation such as a fire or other emergency where you need to evacuate quickly. Ask your local fire authority or council for advice about installing smoke detectors and evacuation techniques.