Sometimes it’s okay to be a “Karen” part 1

Hello everyone, for those of you that don’t know me, my name is Karen Townsend and I was diagnosed with LAOFA at the age of 32. Those of you that know me also know that I hate when the media or society stereotypes people that challenge everything regardless if it’s justified or not, and refer to them as “Karen’s”. I try to live my life as unconfrontational as possible, but I’m here to tell you that sometimes it’s okay to stand up for your rights, especially when the NDIS is concerned. I will be doing a series of blogs where I focus on particular subjects that have happened to me that might just be helpful to you or your loved ones as well. I will try to gift the most detailed information with the closet outcome as possible.

First let me go back a little to when I first was accepted to the NDIS. I was new to the whole system and I didn’t even know the difference between support workers, support coordinators, support management, etc., because to me they were all the same. Nay, Nay, I learned the hard way! I have had 3 different support coordinators that honestly have not really done anything for me and were not meeting my needs, let alone being available to sort out my plan. My support workers were on a rotating shift, so I ALWAYS had to tell the new person on shift my entire story and medical history over and over and over again. I’m sure most of you know how frustrating this is. I never really had a choice as to what equipment I received because my OT would make a decision, arrange a trial, and even if I wasn’t overly happy with it, if she deemed it acceptable then that’s what I got. Sadly after the equipment arrived I was disappointed but felt like I was “Stuck” with it. I finally had enough and on my own I arranged a meeting with the NDIS directly. In this meeting I found out so much, and I will blog about these things at a later date because frankly there’s just too much to go over in one blog, but the main thing I took away from this meeting is that we are more in control of our plans than you think. Luckily I had a wonderful service management team in place, (they are the ones that pay all your invoices), so I decided to remain with them. Everyone else had to go however. So I literally “Fired” everyone else after I did extensive research and after meeting with several people in different fields to replace them. Of course I was fair and gave them each the required amount of time that was in my service agreements, but I made a fresh start with a new support coordinator, new support workers, new transportation providers, new OT, and new PT. Within two weeks time I already noticed a HUGE difference, and honestly I couldn’t be happier! Now most would have you believing that you should never switch midway through a plan, but that’s absolutely not the case and couldn’t be further from the truth! If you find a great support coordinator then they will do the majority of the work for you, that is why they get paid the big bucks. A great coordinator is actually worth their weight in gold. So now I’m revisiting items that my prior coordinators and OT didn’t want to pursue in the past.

Stay tuned for some of my up coming trials

~ Karen Townsend

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