Su has been a Country Home Services customer for about 4-5 years now and she is a great advocate for her community. Su is a council member, a Justice of the Peace and also works as a volunteer Aged Care Peer Champion. This is a unique and highly important role that she does with COTA’s support (an Aged Care body that promote and protect the wellbeing of older Australians). Being a peer champion, means she provides one to one support to people going through the My Aged Care process in order to access Aged Care Services. She takes the fear and confusion out of this process because having received services herself, she understands the process and how helpful the extra support is in life.
Su came to be an Aged Care Peer Champion when a friend put her name forward as she knew Su would be perfect for the position. Su agreed and then she started her training with COTA. Throughout her life, Su has always supported the community through working in disability and then becoming a civil celebrant where she conducted marriages and many funerals on the Yorke Peninsula. It was during the process of conducting funerals that Su had often asked herself “Who is advocating for these people?” and when becoming a Peer Champion, she really identified just how important receiving services were, in her words “Where would these older people be without assistance”.
Su commented that on the Yorke Peninsula there are so many people who retire in their country property and their kids have moved or live a long way away. It is often up to the neighbours to try and help when they can but that is not always practical or possible. So in Su’s role she supports these people in getting the support they need. She walks them through the signing up process for My Aged Care, and is present to guide them through the interview and finally encourages them to have the assessment. From her experience she explains that you don’t have to use the services all the time but when something goes wrong then you know there are services are available to you.
Since Su received her training from COTA she has been speaking to a lot of community groups where she found her information was received with great enthusiasm which inspired her to move forward with her volunteering. Often a community talk will lead to many one to one visits.
When I asked Su about how Country Home Services has helped her she commented on how glad she was to have the service. There have been times when her health hasn’t been the best so the support of services has made all the difference. In regards to her contractor Su commented “She is really happy with her work, she is an absolute wiz of a cleaner.”
If you live in the Yorke Peninsula and would like Su’s assistance in understanding My Aged Care and how to receive services, Su can be contacted via her COTA SA Mobile ( 0448 496 385), or she is available for drop in’s at the Moonta Medical Centre on Tuesdays from 10-12pm.