CBS Connect – July 2018

If you would like to download the CBS Connect July 2018 newsletter please click here.

From the CEO… Murray Coates

Welcome to the 2018 Winter edition of Connect. Some important topics are covered here including: the latest age groups that have become eligible for NDIS support; the 2018 staff conference; an update on our Day Centre operations at Albuera House; Elder Abuse – we stand against it; and more.

Last month, we changed the use of our Albuera Street day service to become more of a hub. The difference is that instead of having all day sessions at the house, we will now use it more as a drop in centre. We are also looking at providing overnight and weekend respite from this location. It is clear that many clients are wanting to be out and about in the community these days.

Launceston continues to grow and the day service there is providing some great alternatives for people living in the area. Community Based Support (CBS) is also offering people in the North of the state NDIS and Home Care Packages (HCP). It is very pleasing to see both of these services are growing strongly in the South. We clearly have a great reputation for how we provide these services as people continue to choose Community Based Support.

Customer service is natural to Community Based Support staff but we are working hard to make this even better. We are reviewing our phones and technology, along with providing additional training across all areas of the organisation. All staff now have a “CBS Team” card that helps remind them of day to day ways we can make a difference. Ask one of our staff to show it to you and explain it.

Also showing our commitment to having great staff, we held our annual staff conference in June. Some amazing speakers covered all sorts of topics from a practical point of view. These included wellness and enablement, dementia care, looking after yourself, customer service, safety and industry direction and developments.

It’s clear that Government policy continues to change and roll out. CBS actively participates in consultation around these including the development of aged care standards, Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) reforms, Home and Community Care (HACC) changes and the rollout of the new carer services. Nothing stands still for long and we do what we can to thread this into our day to day operations as smoothly as possible. For those interested in the detail, I’m happy to provide it. I enjoy catching up with you, so please feel free to say hello and share your ideas and insights.

From the Disability Support Team

Did you know that from the 1st July 2018 children, aged 0 to 3, and adults, aged 35 to 49 will be eligible for the NDIS in Tasmania?

Did you also know that full rollout of the NDIS occurs on 1st January 2019? This means that from 1st January 2019 everyone under the age of 65 can apply for NDIS funding.

If you are unsure what to do, please contact our Disability Support Team, we are here to help you!

Community Based Support provide support coordination to eligible NDIS participants. When you meet with your NDIS planner, you can ask for support coordination to be included in your plan. Support Coordination provides assistance to participants to connect to the supports outlined in the participants plan. Community Based Support has a dedicated and experienced Disability Support team who can work with you to ensure you get the very best support available.

To contact the Disability Support Team Statewide: 1300 227 827
Hobart: (03) 6208 6600
Launceston: (03) 6338 1889
Email: disability.care@cbsaust.org.au

Mini Satisfaction Survey

Enclosed with your latest Connect Newsletter you will find a Mini Satisfaction Survey. We issued the first of these around this time last year and the response was fantastic with around 700 people completing and sending back the survey.

Our mission is to support individuals to live the life they choose, but it goes further than that. We want to be able to provide you with the very best support services available in Tasmania.

In order to see if we are on the right track, we have designed this survey to give us a quick snap shot about how you feel about CBS, what we are doing well and where we can improve.

If you are happy to participate and provide us with this valuable information please complete the survey and return it in the reply paid envelope provided.

We will continue to issue these surveys at various times and if at any time you would like to request a survey to complete please ask your Support Worker.

Name Badges

You will notice something new with all our staff, we now have name badges.

These have been designed with input from our staff and clients and are being distributed to all staff over the coming weeks.

These will be worn by all staff in the office and in the field so you can quickly identify them by name. If you are going out with a worker and would prefer they didn’t wear the name badge, please let them know and they will happily remove it whilst they are with you.

Albuera Day Centre Operations

In April this year, a decision was made by the CBS management team and Board to close the Albuera House Day Centre operations.

Some time ago we saw that the centre was not operating to its full capacity and, if left to continue in its current state, would have serious consequences for CBS, its staff and clients.

Over the past 12 months every effort was made to turn this situation around so we could avoid closure, however, the problem still existed, leaving us with no alternative.

A great deal of research and assessment was conducted and it was found that the change in overall attendance was, in fact, due to the changing needs of our clients.

As we all know, CBS prides itself on providing solutions, so that is exactly what we are doing. For now, Albuera House is being used as more of a ‘hub’ for a variety of activities including overnight and weekend respite. We will be operating a drop-in centre and we will also be looking at other uses, ones that meet the needs of both our current and future client groups.

For some of our clients, Day Centre services are exactly what they are looking for. They provide social connections that are unique and meaningful and offer the opportunity to form great friendships, social outings and opportunities to grow and learn as individuals. We fully intend to continue to provide these terrific services in our Day Centres located in Huonville, Cygnet, Huntingfield, New Town, New Norfolk, Launceston and Bridport.

The future of Aged Care and Disability Support services is changing, and we intend to provide a comprehensive suite of services that meet the needs of our existing and future client groups. This is just one of the ways we can do this.

Relationship Dynamics For Carers

We found this little piece of gold, written by Tanya Peisley, a Senior Counsellor with the SANE Help Centre, SANE Australia. And we want to share it with you below.

Boundary setting is an important, albeit difficult, part of self-care when a loved one is living with a mental illness. This may be harder and more complex for some than others. By setting boundaries, you are taking responsibility for how others treat you and your own needs seriously.

It’s okay to expect basic rules of conduct and cooperation. We all require these to get along. It is not uncommon for feelings of guilt to prevent people from effectively setting limits and realistic expectations for their loved one.

Wanting to help your loved one as much as possible is common. But sometimes this can be to your detriment. Understanding relationship dynamics may help provide insight into helpful boundaries.

Are you being taken advantage of?

Do you feel overextended, or your needs are on the back burner? It is important to learn to say ‘no’ to unreasonable or unmanageable demands.

Are you inadvertently enabling?

For example, parents of adult children with a mental illness feel obliged to provide care, or fear hurting the person, even though they are capable of caring for themselves. Setting boundaries compels the person to take responsibility for their actions and teaches independence.

Are you unwittingly accepting being abused mentally, verbally, financially and physically?

Even though you love the person, this behaviour, related to mental illness or not, is never acceptable under any circumstance. Never compromise your own or others’ safety for fear of hurting your loved one’s feelings. Make sure you are safe first and contact emergency services.

Deciding your limits

Establishing boundaries is a process. Take your time and look for small ways to begin. Where to set your limits to is a personal decision.

Level of support

Decide what level of support and care you and others involved are realistically able to provide, including limits to protect yourself (or the family) from unacceptable behaviour.

Family conversation

These conversations may be about current, emerging or foreseeable issues. For instance, if your family member may drink alcohol or use drugs while socializing, establish that borrowing the car is never an option under these circumstances. Or, staying up late may be tolerated, but alcohol use is not.

Conversation with your loved one

Discuss and establish basic rules for behaviour and co-operation, limitation and expectations. A clear understanding about what everybody needs, wants, or expects is important. Record these rules and keep them in an accessible location. Boundaries may need to be set without the input of your loved one if they are uncooperative, or redefined over time.

Boundary rules and expectations

Some rules and expectations you, your loved one and family members may want to discuss and decide upon include:

  • How much financial support you are able and willing to provide;
  • Whether or not you are willing to co-sign papers (a lease, loan or credit card);
  • How much practical help you can provide (meals, budgeting, grocery shopping, transportation);
  • Your loved one’s ability to live in your home by agreed rules and consequences;
  • What household chores you expect your family member to do;
  • Personal hygiene requirements;
  • Disruptive behaviours such as refusing to follow house rules, playing music too loudly, neglecting to show up for family meals, being argumentative;
  • Use of tobacco, alcohol and/or street drugs in your home;
  • Gambling;
  • Attending medical appointments;
  • Taking prescribed medications.

Following through with a boundary

Boundary setting can almost be the easy part, with the follow through being most difficult. When setting a limit, ensure you are able to implement and live with it. Limits are likely to be tested and, if broken, the person is making a choice, leading to consequences.

Do not excuse them, change your mind, or feel guilty for enforcing a consequence. Giving in sends the message you aren’t committed to the boundary, allowing their behaviour to continue unchanged.

Possible responses could include:

  • Taking time to choose your response;
  • Saying the agreed boundary has been broken;
  • Explaining how you feel;
  • Giving an ‘action-response-outcome’ statement such as ‘when you come home drunk, I feel very angry with your behaviour. I’m going to ask again that you honour our agreement’;
  • Renegotiating the boundary — restating your wants and needs;
  • Implementing consequences of the broken boundary;
  • Being a ‘broken record’, repeating what you want, not letting yourself be deflected from this boundary;
  • Commenting how the behaviour was different from that agreed upon, for example: ‘Every time this happens, you say sorry and carry on as if we had not made an agreement’;
  • Being consistent.

Communicating positive feedback

Providing positive feedback to your loved one is as important as communicating concerns. People are more likely to continue positively when provided with positive feedback.

Responding in difficult situations

When a loved one is unwell, unable to think clearly, aggressive or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, discussing broken boundaries can be difficult. Sometimes consider waiting until the person has improved before discussing negative consequences and future prevention.

If you experience fear in these situations, if physical aggression has occurred previously, plan for it to occur again. Do not hesitate to contact emergency services. You will not get your loved one in trouble. Suggestions include:

Irritable or critical behaviour

  • Remind yourself the person is ill;
  • Don’t argue logically if the person is not thinking rationally;
  • Address specific comments or behaviour (like shouting) that are unacceptable, without criticizing or blaming the person as an individual;
  • Set limits with the person’s verbal abuse by saying ‘I understand you’re upset but I’m not going to tolerate being spoken to in this way’ and walk away.

 

Aggressive behaviour

  • Recognise the warning signs of impending aggression;
  • Take casual threats of violence seriously;
  • Plan to ensure your safety (have locks on rooms, leave the house and get help);
  • Remove objects like knives that could be used as weapons.

If risky or aggressive behaviour has occurred, the person, yourself or other family members may need urgent medical help. It is common to feel traumatized by physical and emotional abuse and professional counselling can be helpful. There is a useful list of services at the end of the article to assist you.

Conclusion

Boundary setting is not easy and doesn’t occur overnight. But its implementation is for the benefit of you, your family and your loved one. Your mental and physical health should be nurtured equally with those you love. This can take practice.

Many carers face the dilemma and difficulty of boundary setting, so you are not alone. Please reach out for assistance with the services below if you need support.

Carer Support Services – 1800 052 222

             Operated by Community Based Support in southern Tasmania only

Mental Health Carers Australia – 1300 554 660

Carers Australia – 1800 242 636

Relationships Australia –1300 364 277

Walk Against Elder Abuse

On Friday 15th June, Community Based Support management and staff proudly joined COTA in support of their “Walk Against Elder Abuse” in Hobart City.

The walk was strongly supported by a variety of political identities, community organisations, high schools and members of the general public.

This cause is very important to us and we will not stand for any form of elder abuse, whether that person is a client of ours or simply a member of our community.

Elder abuse can be defined as

“a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse can take various forms such as physical, psychological or emotional, sexual and financial abuse. It can also be the result of intentional or unintentional neglect.” World Health Organisation (WHO – 2002)

The bottom line is that Elder Abuse is never OK and should never be tolerated!

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing elder abuse, you can reach out for help by contacting the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 44 11 69. Alternatively, you can talk to your support worker or call our office anytime and we will support you to get the help you need.

We are proud to introduce some new staff members

Two new staff members have joined us in our Launceston office, Julie and Jennie.

Julie is our new Administration Assistant. She will be a great help to the team in the office and will be available to you by phone, email or in person at our Canning Street office.

Julie started her career in England working as a medical receptionist in the National Health Services. She worked there for 10 years before immigrating to Australia. Since then she has worked in a number of industries, the last being a manager at a boarding kennels business. Julie says “I always wanted to return to the health industry and I am very excited to be starting my journey with Community Based Support as the Administration Assistant in the Launceston office”.

Jennie is our new Team Leader at Canning House. Jennie first began working in the aged care sector in Falmouth on the East Coast, many years ago. She moved back to Launceston 15 years ago where she continued working in the sector as a Diversional Therapist and Personal Care Assistant, primarily in a secure dementia unit.

Jennie is a big fan of the great outdoors, especially our beautiful diverse coastal areas. She likes to knit, sew and create and she says she is “looking forward to providing Disability and Aged Care clients with a fun, friendly and safe experience at Community Based Support in Launceston. Please pop in and have look around any time you’re in the area.”

We have also gained three new staff members in the Hobart office, Tricia, Donna and Nikole

Tricia joins Community Based Support as General Manager Corporate Services, responsible for the management and strategic direction of the Corporate Support section.

She has over 20 years of management experience in both small to medium enterprises and large, complex entities. Tricia holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degree and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. Tricia says that she still has a lot to learn about her new workplace “but her friendly colleagues at CBS have been a great help.”

Donna has recently joined the Aged Care team in Hobart as a Care Facilitator for clients with Home Care Packages. Donna comes with a wealth of experience in the aged care industry having worked across the country for over 15 years. Most recently she worked with the Regional Assessment Service assisting people to access in home support services. Donna’s passion lies in assisting people to maintain their independence at home. She says “I am excited to join the CBS family because it’ll mean that I can assist people to stay living independently at home. And that really makes me happy.”

Nikole has been working in the aged care and disability sectors for around 5 years now. She first worked in rostering and quickly moved into case management for people with disability. From there she moved into managing Home Care Packages, specialising in assisting people through the application process for Home Care Packages through My Aged Care.

Nikole now joins our Aged Care Team and will be working across the state, assisting to promote Community Based Support services and helping people to access Home Care Packages. Nikole says “I really enjoy working in this sector and helping consumers remain living at home independently, as well as getting creative in how to use their home care package. I am excited to be given the opportunity to learn and grow with Community Based Support.”

Staff Confidentiality and Privacy

Whether we are at work or at play, we all like to know that our privacy and confidentiality are maintained by the people we care about.

On occasion, the staff member you normally have or were expecting is not able to attend to you. And as much as we would like to share information with you, we always respect our staff’s right to confidentiality and privacy, and do not advise anyone of the reason they are absent for that visit. Our response, when asked about any absence will always simply be that they are not available at this time. We hope you understand the need for privacy and that you can respect our staff, as we respect you, by not pressing for more information.

From the Rostering Team

We are very pleased to let you know that, for your convenience, we have extended the hours that our rostering team will be available to you. The new hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

This change is all thanks to the feedback you have provided to us. Some of you said that, for a whole range of reasons, it can be difficult to contact our office staff during normal business hours. Some of you have family that call on your behalf, some of you work during the day, and some of you need to consult with others when they finish work. There are too many reasons to list them all here, but you get the idea.

So, if you have to cancel a shift, make a request to change a shift or if there is something else that you need to speak to the rostering team about, please feel free to contact them between these hours.

Cancellations

We are always happy to assist you to get the support you need, at a time that suits you. So, if you ever need to cancel or rearrange your support times, you can simply call us on 1300 227 827.

The person you need to speak to will depend on the support you are cancelling.

If you are cancelling a single support visit you can speak with our receptionist or someone from the rostering team, or you may wish to speak to your coordinator. Any of these people can help you if it is simply a cancellation of a single visit.

If you are cancelling your ongoing support, you should ask to speak to your coordinator. Your coordinator will be either from the Disability Support team or the Aged Care team.

You should always try to call before 5pm on the day before your scheduled visit is to occur, even if it is on the weekend. By doing this you will avoid any cancellation fees. If you are calling outside of normal business hours, please press “2” so you can speak to a staff member.

Please call us on 1300 227 827 if you have any questions, or if you are unsure about how this works.

Community Based Support Staff Conference 2018

Every year, Community Based Support organises a conference for its staff. This gives staff the opportunity to engage in some additional professional development as well as getting together and learning from each other.

On 23rd June, we held our annual conference at Blundstone Arena; our theme was “Why Choose Community Based Support?” The theme was chosen to support our ongoing commitment to providing exceptional customer service when supporting our clients to live a life they love.

We heard from a range of speakers including Dr Jane Tolman, who spoke to us about supporting people with Dementia and the importance of the support offered to their family care givers. We learned about ‘Wellness, Reablement and Independent Living’ and how we can assist our clients to be in control of their own lives. An interactive session was held on the topic of ‘Platinum Customer Service’, how we can deliver this to our clients and how we can empower and support our clients by providing the very best customer service possible.

“Why choose Community Based Support?” will continue to be the theme behind all staff training and development throughout the year, so that you can benefit from the very best services available in Tasmania.