Some of the groups and organisations that can assist with your physical independence include:
- Occupational therapists, who are trained to help you manage everyday activities. They can suggest mobility equipment and changes in the home. You should be able to find one through your local hospital, a specialist palliative care team or privately.
- Palliative care equipment is available for loan. Go to the Palliative Care Australia website or phone (02) 6232 0700 to find out about the contact details for the palliative care centre in your state.
- The not-for-profit Independent Living Centres in each state, which provide information and equipment for everyday living phone 1300 885 886.
- Other state-based programs for providing equipment for independent living. In NSW for example, the Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP) provides aids for mobility, continence, communication, sleeping, nutrition and more.
- Private organisations that rent or sell equipment such as wheelchairs, walking frames, shower chairs, commodes, incontinence products and pressure-care mattresses. Look under 'Disabled Persons Equipment &/or Services', 'Home Health Care Aids' or 'Hire – Medical Equipment' in the Yellow Pages.
Modifying your home
The Carer Gateway (Freecall 1800 422 737 ) has information about how to modify your home. The Independent Living Centres (see above) in each state also have information about home modifications.
Seeking respite care
Contact Carer Gateway for information on respite services either via the website or call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 if you need to arrange respite care
Needing help around the home
Services available to help you around the house and garden include:
- Meals on Wheels services, will deliver hot, chilled or frozen meals, for a small cost. Check with your local Commonwealth Carelink Centre for details on services in your area.
- The Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, which can provide domestic and maintenance services for people at home. Also, Commonwealth Carelink Centres can put you in touch with people in your area who can help out.
If you live alone, consider having an alarm installed in case of an emergency.
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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.
Last updated 30 August 2015