“You don’t have to become their best friend; Just slow down and ask, ‘Can I help you with that?’”

Published in Centralian Advocate Newspaper
Tuesday 25 Sept 2018
By Pat Pate

I recently turned 88 years of age, and I have been disabled-but-mobile for 11 years. (Multiple spine injuries acquired over many years.)
To be disabled and old does not mean that you have automatically stopped using your brain, although this seems to be a widely-held assumption, I think.
Thanks to those complete strangers who stop and say, “Can I help you?” / “Are you okay?” in car parks and stores. Even the very heavy doors in some business venues can present a problem.
Thank you to Jemima, Cancer Council, for asking me to assist on two “Daffodil Days” stalls recently; an enjoyable time, good company and a very good cause. I do not think that my lack of mobility was any deterrent to the day.

I’d like to share information about some services and equipment which I have found useful:

I am fortunate to have Telecross by Red Cross, who phone me every morning to check on my welfare. No charge just choose the time, and frequency of contacts; all volunteers on the phones, easy to arrange, and a “feel-good” start to the day. To learn more information about accessing Telecross, please phone Red Cross on 1300 885 698.
Home Care Services, which provide inexpensive contact on a personal level; I currently have a support worker for 3 and a half hours per week for some shopping and general house cleaning. Other help is available if required. The support worker will contact his/her local office if a situation arises when a client needs emergency assistance. To access in-home support, an Aged Care Assessment is required. To learn more about Aged Care support, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. For Disability In-Home Support Services, contact the National Disability Insurance Scheme on 1800 800 110

Carers NT is an organisation that provides support and resources for anyone who cares for others. Phone Carers NT on 1800 242 636 for any information and assistance.
“Walkers” are a wonderful piece of mobility equipment – mine makes the difference between walking and not and is a major item towards living a reasonable lifestyle. Handy for taking washing out to the line, with a basket for small tools for small jobs and items to be “put away”, some shopping, and sometimes functioning as a carriage for my small dog, Sam!

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