Economy hits helpers

THE chair of a retirement village council grappling over the use of on-site helpers says it’s tough times, rather than pushy youngsters, that’s driving a push to drop them.

Wemie Garlich says while she’s staying impartial about the plan to stop using emergency response assistants at Lakeside Village, it’s unfair for opponents to present it as an inter-generational battle (“Battle over village carers,” Herald, August 11, 2018).

“It is not only the so-called ‘youngsters’ who are trying to save a few dollars, there are people here on single pensions (old and young) who are doing it tough, and a saving of $50 to $60 a month is huge to most of them,” Mrs Garlich told the Herald.

She points out the assistants aren’t allowed to lift residents after a fall anyway.

“Most falls should be checked out at the hospital,” she says.

“We use Tunstall monitoring service, a call system you can call for anything – burglaries, broken water pipes, etc; as well as medical. They are trained medical staff and will call the appropriate service for you and stay on the line for comfort and assurance.”

First aid

Mrs Garlich says when Lakeside switched over to the National Broadband Network, it was forced by Commonwealth government regulations to sign up to an approved external provider.

“It has been more than 16 months since our last vote on this, and it was always something the residents were going to revisit. Tunstall has been working really well and some see no need to have both emergency services.”

Mrs Garlich says a new bowling green had been paid for by the complex’s owner Lendlease and wasn’t costing residents anything, while all ages were using its pool and other amenities.

“… the use of the club and lodge is sometimes their only contact with other residents, but it is the choice of the individuals to make use of these wonderful facilities.

“The use of the village buggy to take some of the residents to the hairdressers, podiatrist, doctor, etc, will continue.

“Our manager, assistant manager and any other staff are all first aid trained and will help in the case of any emergencies when needed.”

Mrs Garlich said residents could also use services such as Cockburn Cares, Silver Chain or Armana Living, but not many had signed up.

She says a voting slip for an upcoming strata meeting clearly stated that it was about the future of the ERAs. “This is one way for all villagers to have their say, by coming along and ticking the box that suits them.”

by STEVE GRANT

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