The coordinator of an Aboriginal HACC agency in a remote region of South Australia contacted ARAS about a dilemma with one of her elderly clients. The client receives a number of in-home services but his daughter, who is his carer, feels that her father is entitled to more hours of in-home assistance than the agency can provide. The daughter says that she needs someone to be with her father whilst she attends to the needs of the rest of her family.
The coordinator is concerned that the client - who is already receiving the highest level of in-home services available- will not be able to have his needs met by her agency and the arrangement will break down, leading to residential care for the client. The ARAS advocate discussed options with the client and his carer, and obtained their permission to advocate for him to go to the region's Day Centre on a daily basis. This will provide the carer with the respite she needs to look after her family's needs and ensure he is not left alone.
The coordinator was happy to provide extended daily activities for the client at the Day Centre and to continue providing in-home services at the same level as before.
Mrs B is a HACC client and is the sole carer of her three young grandchildren, one of whom has a disability. Mrs B is in her late 50's and has poor health due to a long history of diabetes. She is very appreciative of the many HACC services she is receiving but they are not meeting her needs because of her failing health and the stress of her duties as a grandparent.
Mrs B contacts ARAS because she wishes to know if she would be eligible for a higher level of service through the same HACC agency, but she is too "shamed" to ask the agency directly.
With her permission, the ARAS advocate contacts her case manager at the agency who agrees to give her more in-home services. The case manager agrees to speak to other agencies that could provide her with respite services for her grandchildren so that her situation becomes more sustainable in the longer term.
Please note: Fictitious names and circumstances are used in the examples provided. Any similarities to readers' names or situations are incidental.