MY STORY - by DAN HUNT
My name is Dan Hunt. I am a C3/4-C5/6 quadriplegic. I require extensive care.
Prior to my accident, I was a fit, hard-working man. I skippered deep sea trawlers around the world from 30 odd years. Every 18 months to 2 years I would come ashore and drive Road-Trains or Semi-Trailers for eight or nine months. This was my life and I loved every minute of it. However, I didn't get much sleep in both these occupations, but I did not mind that as they were my chosen fields of work.
Mine was a bizarre accident in which, I was handled after crushing my spinal cord by stupid workers! Hence, the two injuries!
However, there is always a silver lining to every cloud and mine was this; I was three days in the Royal Adelaide Spinal Injury Unit, when I got a bit of a tear in my eye. Big Bird was our pet name for her as she was quite a tall lady, but her real name was Sister Theresa or as most commonly spoken today, R.N. Theresa. (I felt our pet name 'Big Bird' was a lot more warm and fuzzy). Anyway, back to the story: I have this tear in my eyes and 'Big Bird' came over and said "what is wrong Dan"? I replied "I have just bought a Semi-Trailer, how am I going to pay for it"? "Well" said Big Bird "you could put a pencil in your mouth and ring up and get loads for your truck"! WOW! A light went off in my head and I have never been depressed since. I was almost walking, that is, I was walking with two elbow crutches within three years of my accident. Bloody hell, I just could not get rid of one of those elbow crutches. Again no depression, I just brushed it off and move on as best I could. 'Positive thinking wins the day, every day'. However, I had the pleasure of walking around the backyard with my parents in NZ (one on each side but not touching me) with my elbow crutches. I got a video of it, I was so proud and so were my parents.
I have been supplied with support workers by four Agencies, and mismanaged by these four agencies.
I chose the option of Managing my own Funding (if any of you clients want to do this I highly recommend it. If you don't know how to do it, contact me on captdan2 @bigpond.com). When I Managed My Own Funding, I sent out and asked for quotes from several agencies, and settled on CLASS. They were considerably cheaper than the other agencies.
Hallelujah, at last I had found an agency who knew what it was to give a client empowerment! This agency, CLASS, I highly recommend to any prospective clients! I also asked other agencies to take a leaf out of their book. Not only have they given me empowerment, but they have given me for wonderful Carers! Any of you disabled or old age folks out there, here is an Agency that does really know how to work with you. They know what CARE, for a client, means!
Not only do they know how to care for a client, their support workers 'Are Carers' and follow the company's policies in encouraging the full empowerment of their clients. They also look after the Carers, in respect, they ensure that all the credentialing is up to date (they pay for this too)! And with regards to their first aid certificate, they pay their Carers $26.50 per Fortnight. They came down from Strathalbyn each time a new Carer needed to be indoctrinated, also, to meet the Clients, and to speed up the indoctrination so they (the Carers) can start work immediately! I defy you to find another agency that does that!
If you were to sum up CLASS in one word; Exemplary, comes to mind!
So you Clients who are treated badly by your support workers and agencies, asked, No, demand that you are signed up with CLASS. You do have the Right to have the best agency that you want! It is written in the Constitution! And looked into the Self Managing of your Funding!
Draw some of my positivity and apply it to yourselves, you will find you will have a lot of fun, be able to throw away the depression pills (with your doctors directions) and find a new life out there! Go CLASS, yeah yeah!