Isolated carer struggles to get a break

I am the sole carer for my terminally ill Australian husband (78). I am also new to Australia. Being “new” brings a whole string of problems: what to do, where to go, how to fill out the staggering stack of mandatory forms etc., etc.

I have been totally isolated for the past year with no “respite break” whatsoever and with no family or friends the strain on me is unimaginable! Continue reading


Not what was promised

We received a call from our mother’s aged care facility around breakfast time one Friday that she was on her way to hospital after having breathing difficulties overnight. She passed away late the next day, in early November 2016. The emergency department doctors said the likely cause of her admission to hospital the day prior was “aspiration pneumonia”. (This condition occurs when food, saliva, liquids, or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways leading to the lungs, instead of being swallowed into the oesophagus and stomach.) Continue reading

Information for residents, families and carers


  • Are you – or someone for whom you care – needing aged care services? Your one-stop-shop should be the Federal Government’s MyAgedCare website, which has information about aged care options, eligibility for service assistance, assessments to match up with appropriate services as well as setting up and managing those services.
  • Whether you are an older or infirm Australian still living at home or in residential care – or you care for someone in that position – you can get help with managing medicines via the MyAgedCare website. If you use a smartphone, you can also download and use the MedicineWise app from the National Prescribing Service via the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).
  • The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) is a national network comprising nine state and territory organisations that deliver advocacy, information and education services to older and infirm people across Australia. These organisations include Advocare (WA), Seniors and Disability Rights Service (NT), Catholic Care (NT), Aged Rights Advocacy Service (SA), ADA Australia (Qld), Advocacy Tasmania (Tas), Elder Rights Advocacy (Vic), Adacas Advocacy (ACT) and Seniors Rights Service (NSW). OPAN members’ free services support older and infirm people, and their representatives, to address issues related to Commonwealth-funded aged care services.
  • Finding the right aged care for your parents can be something you are confronted with suddenly. This ABC Radio Life Matters article steps you through the process, from aged care assessment to care in the home and residential care options to understanding the basic costs involved.
  • Having chosen – or been offered – a bed in an aged care facility that appears suitable, the next step is to work out what will need to be paid. This guide to nursing home costs steps through the basic daily fee, the accommodation payment options, any means-tested and extra services fees. It also addresses what to do if there are potential difficulties in paying accommodation fees.
  • Choosing to live independently in your own home can be possible for older and infirm Australians if they can get assistance with simple tasks such as taking a shower, dressing and getting to appointments. This home care introduction web page outlines the types of home care available, how to access Federal Government-funded home care services and the types of assessment available for eligible recipients. It also steps you through choosing a home care provider, your financial contribution and lists how to identify other home care services.
  • After registering your name, email and phone number, you can download a free, independent guide from Connect Hearing to help you compare the different types of hearing aids available. The guide explains what to expect from hearing aids, the types of hearing aid styles, advances in hearing aid technology and compares hearing aids available on the market. Alternatively, you can call 1300 186 536 to request a copy be mailed out to you or someone for whom you care.

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