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Service returned

Service returned

Navigating the complicated aged care system is about to get easier for our State’s veterans.

A partnership between RSLWA and White Oak Home Care Services is ensuring veterans and their families are given a guiding hand in understanding and accessing entitlements and services.

“Veterans, like lots of other people, sometimes don’t actually appreciate what is on offer and how you go about accessing it. It’s a case of what you don’t know, you don’t know, and it can get quite complicated,” RSLWA chief executive John McCourt says.

“What we are doing with all veterans, young and old, is to help make it easier to access services that are available.”

RSLWA works on a “veterans central model” as a central point of contact for its 10,000 veterans, of whom about half are senior, and pointing them the right way.

“If a veteran doesn’t appreciate or really know what they can access or what they are entitled to they can ring us. For example they may say ‘I need better home care and I think I have some entitlements’, and we say ‘Listen, have you spoken to White Oak?’ Or they might say ‘I have some mental health issues’, so we say ‘Have you spoken to Open Arms’,” Mr McCourt, a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan and Timor, says.

“We triage that and White Oak is one of a number of services that plugs into that triage model.

“Older veterans are very proud people, they really want to stay in their own homes as long as possible … one of the benefits of this partnership is is White Oak specifically provides services that allows veterans to actually stay in their homes as long as possible.”

White Oak is not a newcomer. It has been providing personal, domestic, respite and clinical services to veterans for 20 years.

Graeme Prior, chief executive of White Oak’s parent company Hall & Prior, says the partnership builds on the provider’s already big program for veterans, as well as providing continuity of care if veterans move from home to a residential facility.

White Oak Home Care Services general manager Treasa Lonergan says the partnership aids advocacy.

“This partnership allows us to empower those veterans with information about what services they are eligible for and what services they can receive,” she says.

While veterans receive the same high quality care as all White Oak clients, as a cohort they are also a delight for staff.

“Do you know what my staff love? Is to hear the stories from our veterans and having that personal rapport with them. The veteran community is a special community, they are clients that have served for us, they have some brilliant stories, they have a lot of experience, and our staff just love working with them like with all our clients,” says Ms Lonergan.

Domestic assistance keeps vet at home

Domestic assistance keeps vet at home.jpgVeteran Terry Newman with his dog Rusty.

In 2007 Vietnam veteran Terry Newman went in for spinal surgery. For the next three years his wife solely performed primary care duties but he experienced repeated re-entries to hospital.

Staff recognised the need for assistance at home and recommended to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs he get services from a provider. He was referred to White Oak Home Care Services. Now Mr Newman, 70, receives daily domestic assistance.

“I’m paraplegic so there is a limited range of abilities that I have and things I can do myself. Being in a wheelchair is not all that flash. Our house is such that I can access all the things I need to do at home in my wheelchair and if I wasn’t in a wheelchair I would have to be in a facility somewhere. The help enables me to stay at home,” he says.

Mr Newman Terry served in 1968 and was involved in the Battle of Coral-Balmoral.

 

 

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