Talking scales and acceptance with Penny
Two years ago, Penny Salkeld couldn’t have known that moving to Gympie from Brisbane would bring so much change to her life, and she can see more change ahead thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“I’m a mum with six kids and a grandmother so my days were fairly occupied,” Penny explained.
“I was working part time in Brisbane and once I came to Gympie it was a whole new world. I was thrown into an area I didn’t know and things started to get very difficult in the home for me.
“With my health deteriorating, because I’ve had a stroke and I broke my ankle because of my vision issues, I discovered I did need some more help. When the NDIS came into the area I didn’t realise just how helpful it was going to be.
“It was a bit of a case of, ‘I don’t know what to do with this, I don’t know how to accept this’. Someone wants to give you a bit of money to make life better, but we’ve never had that before. That was a bit of an eye opener.”
Penny lost her vision 17 years ago and aside from receiving a walking cane every two years through Vision Australia, she had not received any other support.
Through the NDIS, Penny has been able to get crucial assessments completed that give a clearer picture of the functional impact her vision impairment and stroke have on her day to day life.
Slowly, Penny is getting used to the idea of receiving help from a support worker and discovering some life hacks and equipment that are giving her a chance to again enjoy her interests.
“I’m left with some residual stuff from a stroke as well as vision and balance issues. So I was hoping for a couple of hours a week having someone come in to help clean the house. My support worker who comes into the home for three hours a week is out of this world, she is just lovely.
“I think the biggest challenge I’m having is using the support worker to get out of the house. I’ve got Jeff (husband), do I really need a support worker? Well yes, I do because when he’s mowing an acreage he doesn’t want to be stopping to go to an appointment.
“I wanted to take some pressure off him so he could enjoy life a little bit more too. He had become, basically, a hundred percent of everything, transporting me, lots of doctors’ appointments, meal prep and stuff like that.”
With the assistance of an occupational therapist and some accessible kitchen scales, Penny was able for the first time in years, to cook brownies without her husband’s help, meaning they ran out of flour twice in one week.
“Since I’ve got the talking kitchen scales, baking has become a whole lot easier. I’m married to a chef but I like to bake. So I’ve been able to get back into a bit of that. My assessor came in and put some markings on the oven so I could set the oven, which was really good.
“I’ve just discovered there are talking bathroom scales – I don’t know whether that’s going to be a very good idea if I bake brownies!”
Gympie area locals who would like to find out more about the NDIS can contact Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination Partners in the Community Program on 07 5489 2200, 1300 999 636 or firstname.lastname@example.org