One in every five Victorians has a disability. The region in which we work is growing at an extraordinary rate. The sheer numbers of people living with a disability and the limited resources available to support them provides an enormous challenge for people with disabilities, those caring for them and our community.
People with disabilities and their families experience enormous pressures simply managing day to day living. This pressure is underpinned by the ever present question of: “what will happen to my child, my brother or my sister when I can’t care for them any more?” People with disabilities, their families and friends are resourceful and courageous. However, the service system is a complex maze and many people simply do not know the right questions to ask to get the help they need..
This is where Windermere Disability Services can help. Disability Services provides ongoing practical and emotional support to children, young people and adults who have a disability, and their carers, with the aim of improving their life opportunities. We help people to navigate the complex service system and get the help they need. People are assisted to achieve the things many of us take for granted, such as a safe home, close family and friends, good health, enjoyable recreation, valuable education and employment.
With timely and targeted support, the quality of life people with disabilities can be immensely improved – especially when they and their families and friends are strong, creative, loving and resourceful.
Our disability support programs include:
Flexible Support Packages
- Making A Difference, Early Choices
For children who have a developmental delay (0 to 6 years) or people with a permanent disability (6 to 64 years) living in the community. These packages may be short term or intensive in nature and provide practical support, information, limited financial support and emotional support. Long waiting times for these programs can apply.
- Continence Support Scheme
For children (5 to 16 years) who have a disability and are incontinent. Continence products are clinical assistance to achieve bowel and bladder control are provided. In 2008 some people eligible for this program also became eligible for CAPS (another program that funds continence supports). For more information about this service please follow the link http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au
- Private Case Management
Windermere Disability Services are contracted via a range of programs including Futures for Young Adults. Individual Support Packages assist people to put their plans in place and provide practical and emotional support, information and advocacy.
- Family Choice Program
For children (0 to 18 years) who have a life threatening medical condition and who require multiple medical procedures on a daily basis. Emotional and practical support for children and their families is provided in partnership with nursing/medical support. Referrals through Family Choice Program.
Facilitation for Individual Support Packages
- Individual Support Pages
People up to 64 years of age who have a disability and have been given a package of support by the Department of Human Services. Windermere's Disability Services assist people to develop plans to access the support they need, lodge funding proposals and then to implement people's plans. Funding is provided through the Department of Human Services, Disability Services.
- Futures for Young Adults
For people (18 to 21 years) who are leaving school and who need assistance to plan for and access day activities, employment or further education. Windermere's Disability Services assist people to develop plans to access the support they need, lodge funding proposals and then to achieve their goals. Funding is provided through Department of Human Services, Disability Services. This program ceases when the young person reaches 21 years of age.
‘Disability’ is a broad term, and different programs have different eligibility criteria. We welcome any enquiries. Our view is that it is always better to ask and be told that you are not eligible than to have missed out unnecessarily.
Windermere’s Disability Services are provided free of charge. For more information please contact us.
Unfortunately many of our programs have not been funded to “grow” in proportion with our populations in the Cities of Casey and Cardinia. As a result waiting lists for some of our programs are very long and packages are allocated on a basis of urgency rather than first come first serve.
Click here to view Disability Newsletter - Winter 2012 Issue
Click here to view Disability Newsletter - Summer 2012 Issue
Click here to view Disability Newsletter Issue 2
Click here to view Southern Region Autism Communities of Practice Flyer
Click here to view Autism Spectrum Disability flyer
- One-in-five Victorians has a disability.
- 70% of couples who have a child with a disability will separate.
- People with disabilities are more likely than any other group to live in poverty.
- In 2011-12 the Windermere Disability Services team provided support to 724 individuals with disabilities and their families.
Max was a forty five year old man who ran his own carpentry business. One day he noticed that he was having difficulty in using his hammer and that nails simply weren’t going in straight. Max adapted to this problem but then found over time that his arms were getting weaker and he started tripping over. Max went to his doctor who performed a range of tests over several months and about five months later Max was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). MND is a degenerative disease that over time effects all voluntary and involuntary movements. It does not effect a persons ability to think or feel. Max lost the ability to swallow and breathe on his own over twelve months. He became dependent on oxygen and his neural pathways and muscles weakened to the point that he could not talk, stand, or even raise his head. Breathing became increasingly difficult for him. Max lived with his family who he was increasingly dependent on as he became trapped within his own body. Max and his family faced frustration, physical and emotional pain and grief and loss and they saw what the future held. Max and his disability worker tried to meet Max’s quickly changing needs. Hoists for lifting, manual and then electric wheelchairs, pressure care mattresses, ramps and rails were organised and installed. Max was loaned a machine that through a pressure switch and specialised computer software and hardware enabled him to type for immediate display or email so he could “talk” to his friends and family. Counselling was provided to Max and his family and Max was assisted with organising his legal affairs. Max and his disability worker found respite care so his family could work and have a break from the 24 hour a day nursing care Max needed. Carers were trained in specialist care such as administration of oxygen, PEG feeding (feeding through a tube directly into the stomach) and morphine administration. Max and the disability worker worked with Max’s medical team to help manage his breathing and pain and then later worked with palliative care specialists. Max and his family eventually decided that Max would have to move into a hospital to have his intensive care needs met and Max died a week later.
Windermere had helped Max stay at home and be a daily part of his family’s life for 18 months. They assisted him to communicate, be pain free, to plan for his future and his family’s future. After Max died, the family were assisted with counselling, removal of all the equipment and repair of the rental property, notifying relevant authorities and general emotional support until they were ready to stop receiving help from Windermere. Disability services had made a real difference to Max and his family and their last year together.