Plea to the Australian Government on behalf of all family carers & the children with disabilities (loved one whom they care for), to improve the quality of their life, they need self directed funding sign now

A THREE-YEAR wait for equipment to help a young girl with hypotonic cerebral palsy continues "hopelessly", her mother says, as she struggles to help her daughter complete day-to-day tasks.

The Advertiser last December first reported Jewels Smith had spent the previous two years waiting for four items of equipment for her daughter Sienna, 8.

This included a basic toilet chair, modified walking frame and expensive hoist.

But, almost a year on, the family is still waiting.

Ms Smith described the delay as frustrating and said constant correspondence with organisations, including Novita, which helps provide the equipment and Housing SA, who will help make alterations to the family's Hackney home, had proved fruitless.

"I've torn muscles in my stomach just trying to lift my girl, she's getting bigger and I'm genuinely a happy person, but this wait is just getting ridiculous," Ms Smith said.



"I know we're not the only ones in this situation, it just continues hopelessly for us and others are going through the exact same thing.

"Even Sienna having a bath, going to the toilet ... these are very difficult things for her to do and she needs the right equipment to do so."

Disability Minister Jennifer Rankine said the Government had provided funding through Novita for a ceiling hoist for Ms Smith's house, but was awaiting a successful tender to install it.

"The Government made an election commitment in March to clear the 2009/10 waiting list with $7.75 million and then better keep pace with future need with an additional $2.35 million each year," she said.

Novita chief executive Glenn Rappensberg said this funding meant all children on the waiting list as of June were "being prescribed and supplied with equipment as quickly as possible within the available resources".

He said 78 children were waiting for 94 items with an average waiting time of about 13 weeks.

This was a reduction on last December, when Mr Rappensberg said 400 children were waiting for 700 pieces of equipment with an average waiting time of 40 weeks.

South Australian MP Kelly Vincent said while any State Government funding was supported, the recent allocations were "just a drop in the ocean".



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adele campionBy:
HealthIn:
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Community and friends of Jewels Smith and Sienna

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