A HARD-WORKING mother of a bright, energetic eight year old girl went to work one day, and never came home. A tragic car accident suddenly left her daughter, Fiona, an orphan.
Jo, the girl’s grandmother, went from part-time babysitter to full-time carer.
In addition to dealing with the loss of her daughter, Jo now had the challenge of raising her granddaughter.
She didn’t know how she was going to pay for Fi’s dancing lessons which she loved so much.
She felt not only financially stressed by the situation, but also physically unable to provide Fi a stable upbringing.
She needed assistance, but didn’t know where to turn.
A close friend of Jo’s recommended she call the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500, a service operated by Lifeline that links seniors to community information.
To Jo’s surprise, she found Lifeline also run a Time for Grandparents program, a program specifically designed for assisting ‘Grandfamilies’.
She also found out they could financially assist with Fi’s dancing lessons.
The Time for Grandparents Program is funded by the Department of Communities and run by Lifeline’s Seniors Enquiry Line.
The program is designed to provide occasional, organised time out for grandparents who are the primary carers of their grandchildren.
It also provides information to grandparents and aims to link them to support networks.
The Time for Grandparents Program operates across the State and organises camps that offer children fun activities, carers support, and rest.
Lifeline Community Care Queensland also runs an Elders Abuse Prevention Unit.
The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit is a state-wide program funded by the Department of Communities and has been operating under Lifeline Brisbane since November 2000.
Elder Abuse is regarded as part of the wider social issue of domestic and family violence.
It is estimated that 25 000 older people in Queensland are the victims of elder abuse – this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Since reporting began in 2001, cases of elder abuse have risen by 30 per cent.
The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit operates a Helpline, 1300 651 192, open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
The Elder Abuse Prevention Unit also provides free training for service providers who work with older people living in the community, community groups and educational institutions to raise the profile of elder abuse.
Photo : Image courtesy of Blue Care