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Posted 10 Mar 2017

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) continues its rollout this year, we take a look at what this once-in-a-generation change means for some of our clients.

With 2017 well underway, the NDIS is continuing in Barwon, Melbourne’s North East and has now commenced in Victoria’s Central Highlands region.  In New South Wales, the NDIS continues its roll-out in seven of a total fifteen regions.

Australian Home Care Services’ Jeuel Blackett is among those working closely with participants in the Scheme as a Client Services Manager.

The Scheme, she says, is delivering results for people who may have previously been unable to access any support and who have, until now, been relying on family members to assist.

Jeuel says her experience with the NDIS began in 2015 while she was working within the trial site of Barwon.  Now working with new clients in Melbourne’s North East, she is seeing the roll-out up close for the second time.

“As someone who has worked in an NDIS trial site, I can now see how things are functioning there after implementation, where it has bedded down a few years on.”

“The NDIS experience is that clients are generally better off and happier, even if that doesn’t happen immediately.  Once people receive their plans, most clients are happy.  If they’re not, there is the opportunity to go back for a review of their plans and make changes,” she says.

Two success stories stand out to her so far.  The first is a client living with the debilitating effects of stroke.  “This client had no previous supports in place.  The family had been doing everything.  Now there are abundant services available and the family has been taking up the supports and new opportunities gradually.”

Jeuel also thinks of a young female client whose only equipment to date has been a wheelchair for use in the home and a second one for going out.  “She has been very dependent on those around her, like family, but with the right support there is no reason why she can’t be more independent.  This might include modifications or aids in the bathroom.”

For some clients, a package of several hours of funded support per week can be life-changing, particularly where there had been no funding previously.  For others, the opportunity to either replace or buy new equipment can make all the difference.  Jeuel says the opportunities for participants to allocate some of their funding to yard maintenance or carer respite are other ways that life is changing for clients new to the NDIS.

“The NDIS is a new world and it is an adjustment for everyone.  There have been some bumps along the way and that’s a reflection of the scale of this change,” Jeuel says.

Jeuel says that the scheduled rate for NDIS services means that costing is less stressful for clients.  “Because all providers have to follow a set rate for services, it’s an easier decision for clients.  It’s a level playing field: service costs are not the deciding factor.  At AHCS, if people would like assistance with budgeting, we are very experienced at supporting people so they get the most out of their package.”

Australian Home Care Services offers services in metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria and New South Wales and we are branching into Queensland and ACT.

Call 1300 303 770 or use our online enquiry form today.