We have a little crisis this week. My husband Greg is going into hospital on June 23 to have an operation on his ankle. To manage care for our boys, he takes them to school with him and the taxi picks them up at 8.45 to attend the training program that they are enrolled in. At the end of the day, because Greg is a school teacher, he finishes work a few minutes before they do, so he can drive down the road and pick them up to bring them home.

I work as a nurse in a community health centre. My hours are not so flexible and I leave before they need to go to their training program and am home close to 6pm each day. This means whilst Greg is in hospital, I am in a dilemma.

I rang the respite agency that we go through to negotiate extra care for the boys so that I can still go to work the days that Greg will be in hospital. Generally we are allocated 4 hours per fortnight for respite which we use on Friday nights every second week. The agency applied for Commonwealth Carer Respite and thankfully we were approved for the extra funding to pick the boys up for two days and bring them home after they finish their day. We have arranged that Greg’s teacher aides that he works with, will supervise the boys in Greg’s classroom prior to the taxi picking them up for their program.

It’s a lot of mucking around – numerous phone calls, speaking clearly to people explaining what our needs are and assuring them that this is only short term whilst Greg remains in hospital. I needed to make the phone calls from work and give them my work number for them to contact me. This is something I do not normally do as I like to keep my work and personal life separate. Usually I give my mobile number as a first contact, but I can not be guaranteed to answer the phone especially if I am with clients.

I am really pleased that we have care now. It takes a load off my back trying to balance work, the boys, and also visiting Greg each day as he remains in hospital.

Thank goodness for that.


One Response to Respite

  1. Umma says:

    That’s wonderful that you were able to get the extra temporary services set up! It has to be a huge relief!

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