Counselling for the Elderly
Hi, my name is Joan and I am a qualified Counsellor who has worked in the Aged Care Sector for many years. Over the past 8 years I have been fortunate enough to have intermittent government funding, however, the need for other funded services has continued to grow and during these years I have lost funding to youth services and more recently domestic violence. Whilst these are very important and needed services, I can’t help but feel compelled to scream out “why are we always neglecting our elderly”. My last funding stream was cancelled at very little notice and many of the people I had been continually visiting either in their home or at an Aged Care Facility were devastated as in some instances I was their only visitor. It broke my heart and for over twelve months I was still visiting them in my own time and trying to maintain a balance of paid work.
I’m not sure many people understand the emotional needs of those that have paved the way for our freedom and lifestyle we currently enjoy. Several of my clients have been victims of violence, post-traumatic stress, abused in many forms, abandonment, and in particular grief. It’s not uncommon for earlier generations to keep secrets locked away and not spoken of them. These secrets may reappear in conscious thoughts again in later years causing terrible fear and anxiety, this can sometimes be due to conflicting belief systems and the impending end of life issues. It is terribly sad to hear they have held secrets that have had a significant impact on their emotional and mental health for many years unjustly.
Of course not all my clients have needed structured Counselling skills. Some just need emotional support and genuine kindness that someone truly cares and will listen to them.
My service also includes transitional counselling, whereby I visit the home of a client needing support in making a very difficult decision to go into care. If they make that decision, which is not always the case, sometimes they are just not aware of alternatives available for in-home care. But if they are ready to make the change to care, then I will support them throughout, and assist with the grieving process and settling into their new care facility.
I must reveal, there will always be a percentage of my clients that are able to pay for my services or are paid for by family or friends, but often they are very limited financially, pensions aren’t able to stretch too far and Counselling is seen as a luxury that they simply cannot afford.
You might ask, “isn’t there services like this through the different organisation”, very few offers ‘Counselling’, and my service is mobile, and not supported/covered by Medicare or vet affairs.
This is my last attempt to save a service which I feel so passionate about before I give up and get a different profession. I have exhausted every avenue available and now reach out to the community for assistance.
It may feel an excessive amount I am hoping to achieve, but I spend an hour with each person I visit (often more!), I have to drive to their home or Aged Care Facility to see them and I do this five days a week, sometimes well into the evening to accommodate family meetings etc. It is not uncommon for me to drive around four hours or more a day.
The more I can raise, the longer the service can be offered and the possibility for expansion to other areas. How wonderful it would be to have a team of caring, qualified support workers to say thank you to all the older valued members of our community.
Thank you sincerely for reading my campaign offer! I hope you can help xx
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