A CARER information and support advocate will work two days a week at the Uniting Church, Rosebud, to assist those with disabilities and their parents/carers to receive the information and support they need from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Catherine Trevorrow was appointed by Community Lifestyle Accommodation (CLA) after it received funding and support for her role from a range of groups. These included the Department of Health and Human Services, Southern Mornington Peninsula Uniting Church and Southern Peninsula Community Fund as well as a local philanthropic trust. CLA also contributed.
CLA secretary Marie Hell said pre-planning was important before participants and their families met with NDIS planners. Although based at the church, Ms Trevorrow will be able to visit families at home on a needs basis.
“She will work alongside families to find solutions,” Ms Hell said.
“[Ms Trevorrow] will be an accessible first point of contact and response for families/carers seeking information and support in relation to transition to the NDIS.
“[She] will support family/carer readiness to engage with the NDIS and its planners and administrators, and offer forums and workshops to prepare for current and future support arrangements.”
Ms Hell said the emphasis would be on providing information and linking local services, supports and government assistance; providing peer support and carer advocacy; developing proposals and solutions around key issues facing carers, and monitoring pensions and entitlements.
She said she was grateful to MPs, including Eastern Victoria’s Daniel Mulino and Nepean candidate Russell Joseph, who “supported CLA with our submission to Health and Human Services Minister Martin Foley”. She said consultant Marsha Sheridan assisted CLA with its paperwork.
CLA is now working with Justin Nix, of Equitable Access Solutions, who is writing a housing paper on the “critical lack of housing options for older adults with an intellectual disability still living at home [on the Mornington Peninsula] with their ageing carers”.
“CLA will use this housing paper to lobby government and the National Disability Insurance Agency,” Ms Hell said.
“We cannot keep burying our heads in the sand and doing nothing. As a nation the time has come to get serious in providing assistance to one of the most vulnerable groups in our community – those with severe/profound intellectual disabilities living at home with their ageing carers who are in their 70s and 80s.
“Our older carers need to know their sons and daughters are in safe accommodation before they die.”
Brotherhood of St Laurence Local Area Coordinator Clare Tucker was guest speaker at CLA’s annual meeting held yesterday (Monday 13 November) at the Mornington Shire Offices in Queen St.