We make person centered care in a safe and caring environment easily accessible in disability and aged care. We do this trough training and education.
Episode 4 - Support coordination with Collin Mullan
This conversation with Collin has been so informative. It was a long conversation packed with wisdom, so I will sum up the conversation and highlight the important points in the show notes.
Support coordination is one of the categories of funding that people will often see in their NDIS plan. It can be broken down into probably four key roles within support coordination. So there's level one, level two and level three support coordination. And there's also psychosocial recovery coaching, which is very similar.
It's usually under 24 hours a year. So very minimal work needs to be done. It's just a contact point.
The second level is called coordination of support. And that's what I do and what the vast majority of support coordinators do in NDIS. And that's a more detailed approach to helping people implement their plans. And it's got a big focus on capacity building. So allowing some assistance to, for participants to learn how to manage their own plans and engage their services.
The third level is called specialist support coordination. That's for more complex needs. A specialist support coordinator is quite often an allied health professional or a social worker. So they've got some extra skills to deal with complex issues that might be people who are involved in the justice system and have drug and alcohol issues on top of their disability or maybe facing homelessness or have a very complex care team that needs to be coordinated.
And then the fourth one that I mentioned was psychosocial recovery coaching. So that's a distinct focus on mental health. It's a lot more flexible with the support.
Support coordination is really a Monday-to-Friday, nine-to-five job. Psychosocial recovery is a lot more flexible and can be provided outside of those hours, across weekends. It can be used in a crisis management situation.
The vast majority of participants that are going to have support coordination is going to be at that level two coordination of support. And just to put people in the picture, about 40% of participants will have support, coordination, and funding. So it's not open to everybody, but you can ask for it. So if, if a participant feels that they need some help with their plan, particularly if it's their first plan, they can ask for support coordination to be put into that funding.
If people are struggling to implement their plan and they're not getting support from the agency or the LAC, they can always go back and ask for support coordination. They can put in a change of circumstances to say, I'm struggling with this, I can't get my services engaged, I need some help. Please give me a support coordinator.
Entering NDIS territory is like going on a holiday to a foreign country where you don't understand the language. They have different customs, different laws, and different cultures. It's just new territory. The support coordinator is the tour guide. So they're going to try and get you the best experience possible. They're going to help you navigate unfamiliar territory. They are going to translate for you. They're going to help you avoid the pitfalls. And if you're in a foreign country and you want to go and visit a place, they'll go, no, no, no, let's not go at nine o'clock in the morning because everyone else will be there. Let's go at three o'clock in the afternoon, and you'll get a better view and experience. That's the role of the support coordinator to help guide you to get the best experience.
And it's also about minimizing risk as well. So ensuring that you get safe, quality services in place that you're protected from people who might defraud you or not provide the best services possible. So to go back to what you were saying, there are a few things that support coordinators do, and NDIS has a big list of what the role is, a little bit of a list of what the role isn't. So the primary function is to help facilitate the plan implem
Episode 1 - Understanding disability
Do you know the word disability has no set definition? That holds across the board.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - DIRECT QUOTE - Disability is an umbrella term for impairment of body function or structure, activity limitations, or participation restrictions. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics - Disability is any limitation, restriction, or impairment which restricts everyday activities and has lasted or is likely to last for at least six months.
Do you understand what a disability is? We feel it’s important to begin discussing and understanding disabilities—after all, 1 in 5 people living in Australia have some form of disability! So it made sense to help foster the discussion on understanding disability before we entered the maze that is NDIS.
Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes and can present themselves in many ways, meaning they aren’t always immediately visible. They can be physical (i.e. difficulty using limbs), sensory (i.e. hearing or vision impairments), cognitive (i.e. learning difficulties), mental health conditions, or intellectual disabilities. Many people with disability will use mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walking sticks which help them move around independently… however sometimes ‘invisible’ disabilities such as anxiety may mean someone prefers not to leave their home without a care or support dog by their side".
Each type of disability is unique and comes with varying levels of impairment. That is how much it affects a person. Some people may have a mild form, some moderate, and others severe form. Whatever the type of disability, though, fundamental human rights should always be respected, such as the right to life, equality, non-discrimination, and, if I may add so, love and friendship. Understanding these principles is pivotal if you want to provide adequate support for those with disabilities, whether you’re a loved one, a stranger supporting someone during an emergency, or part of their day-to-day care team.
UNDERSTANDING DISABILITY Numbers As per AIHW, 1 in 6 people, or 4.4 million people, have a disability in Australia. Interestingly other places, you find the number to be 5 million. 1 in 3 people has severe disabilities. 1 in 4 people has a mental and behavioural disability. Remember what we spoke about before? Many times, people's disability is not always obvious. If you like to see the survey report, I will put the link in the show notes for you to check out the survey numbers in Australia.
At the same time, every individual with a disability has different needs. A survey reveals 1 in 3 people have profound disabilities. They need carers to meet their every need. It is easy to forget the needs of people with disability when we ourselves are not struggling with them. Most people with disability can lead a healthy, fulfilling life with the right support, where they can execute choice and control just as others who do not have disabilities do. Others who can not look after themselves need us to fight their battles. After all, what do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?
So, in a nutshell,
Disability can be of many kinds and affect different people differently. Disability is not always visible. And if you are still here listening to me, we are in the same camp. Thank you for trying your best to make this world a better place.
Episode 2 - NDIS, NDIA, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
In this podcast, we will explore What is NDIS, What is NDIA What is NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a social policy reform initiative that provides support and improved opportunities for individuals with a disability.
It is the first of its kind in Australia and has the potential to significantly improve the lives of nearly five million people living with a disability in Australia. The NDIS is now available in all states and territories across Australia.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is a government agency responsible for implementing the NDIS in Australia. It works with a network of state and territory governments, service providers, and community organizations to create a nationally consistent approach to providing quality support to people with a disability. The agency works to ensure that the scheme is managed properly and that sufficient assistance is provided for people with a disability. Some of its key responsibilities include assessing individuals' eligibility for the scheme, allocating funding and resources, assessing the effectiveness of services provided under NDIS, and making changes when needed.
The NDIS Commission is an independent organization established to monitor and regulate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. The Commission is vital in ensuring people with disabilities have access to quality, safe, and person-centred support services. The NDIS Commission also monitors complaints and takes action if there is evidence of serious contraventions of the standards outlined by the NDIS. They are responsible for providing independent advice and guidance and supervising providers to ensure they meet the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.
The NDIS Commission also advises the Australian Government and works with other agencies to ensure the effective implementation of the NDIS. The NDIS, NDIA, and the NDIS Commission work together to provide a system that allows individuals to choose how to use available funding for support services. This includes ensuring people with disabilities have access to quality support and services. The NDIS Commission plays a vital role in upholding these standards. Together, these three organizations ensure that all Australians with a disability can access the support and services they need.
So, in a nutshell.
People with disability and their advocates raised their voices and asked the government to provide care, opportunities, and options. Following that, a review was conducted, and many recommendations were made. Post-review legislation was passed in which the government promised to do better for people with disability by establishing a scheme.
The legislation was passed, called the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013, and the scheme was called the National Insurance Disability Scheme. To run this scheme, they needed money, so the government at all levels, commonwealth, state, and territory, contributed. Later they applied a levy on the general population through medicare. All this together funds the NDIS. The funds are managed and distributed by NDIA. An independent commission was then established called NDIS Quality and safeguard commission.
The commission's main job is to monitor and ensure, on a national level, there is consistency in support and service being provided to people with disability. And these supports and services promote dignity, choice, and control.
References https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1819/Chronologies/NDIS https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/NDIS https://www.ndis.gov.au/about-us/governance https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2022C00206 https://www.ndis.gov.au/news/4889-delivering-ndis-roll-out-complete-across-australia-christmas-and-cocos-islands-join-world-leading-scheme https://www.acoss
Episode 3 - Caring for Carers
Caring for a loved one can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be emotionally and physically exhausting. Carers often put the needs of their family members before their own, sacrificing their time and energy to provide the necessary care. This selfless act can come with its own set of struggles as carers face physical fatigue and emotional stress while trying to balance a demanding job with providing care. We must recognize the hard work and dedication of these individuals who dedicate themselves to caring for loved ones in need.
Welcome to DACS, your Disability, and Aged Care Service podcast, brought to you by LevHealth where we make person-centred care in a safe, caring environment easily accessible.
So let's talk about carers, but before I go there, I need to tell you why. By now, you know I grew up in a big big big family. Growing up we were taught cousins are just brothers and sisters born to aunts and uncles. We knew everyone in the village, and people were always in and out of each other's houses. I have childhood friends, girlhood friends, school friends, nursing friends, and work friends. Church friends and kids friends, parent friends.
In short no shortage of people in my life. When I first left home and went to mainland of India, I was surrounded by a few 100s of people all the time, I did a hospital-based nursing course and lived in a hostel with a few 100 girls. There was no escape. But I was lonely, so very lonely. Strangers surrounded me. They were not my people. Faces were different, voices were different, and culture was different. Life was different. Even my sister being there with me was no consolation for me.
5 yrs on I wept bitterly, leaving this hospital and hostel. Strangers had become friends; some even took us to their homes, and the families welcomed us with warmth, love, and food. I love food. Then I came to Australia, and the whole process started again. But this time, the difference was stark. This time there were not many people. There was no community. People were not in each other’s lives as I knew, and I felt so alone.
19 yrs, now Australia is home, and family and friends surround me. But you see, in hard, trying times, I miss my parents and aunts and uncles. Who have been my caretakers and well-wishers who made personal sacrifices and always said a word of prayer? At any given time, a round table conference is going on in my head. In any given scenario, I know exactly what someone will say and the motivation behind it.
But I have learned just because one has families does not mean they have a bond. People can be rich in money and poor in love. Love, a social or moral obligation, is no longer enough for people to stay and care for. Negative as it may sound, I have seen much of it.
Why is this important? In a big family, there was always someone at hand to take turns. People help when they are around, now look at me so far away from my parents. Lucky for me, my brother and sister-in-law are amazing and care for my parents. And vice versa, my parents greatly help and support them. My aunts and uncles check-in, share a meal and lend a listening ear.
With people having smaller families, families living far from each other, and all adults working, people are away. At the same time, the personal space bubble has grown so big that we have forgotten to ask for help for ourselves or our loved ones. We have asked and were let down. Many have forgotten to ask others, “how can I help” or “what can I do for you”. Many have asked and suffered for their kindness—so many scenarios. A quote from Writer Gary Paulsen’s book comes to mind, “ you can take the man out of the woods, but you can't take the woods out of the man”. It's true for humans too, but instead of woods, we need to care.
I have noticed that it does not matter if we live in our bubbles. In 95% ( my assumption course), care is needed. You care. I know that is why you are here listening to this podc
Introduction to Podcast