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Peter's story

Peter went to war and was decorated for bravery, returning home to marry Norma. They set up a house together where they’ve lived since. But a couple of months ago, Peter had a heart attack, and that’s changed everything.

Luckily Peter survived the heart attack, but he decided while he was recovering in hospital that things would have to change around his home if he and Norma were to stay living there. For a start he was struggling with jobs around the house like cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming, let alone doing all the laundry and cooking for them both since Norma had a fall last year and wasn’t able to do as much around the house either. 

Some of Peter’s ex-service mates told him that he might be able to get help through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Peter had previously applied for DVA benefits and had been issued with a Gold Card. He found there were lots of ways he could get help from DVA, both with the house and in looking after Norma. 

Peter’s story:

  • Peter contacted the Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) to obtain information on benefits and services offered through DVA that may be available to him.
  • Peter was able to self refer for a Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) assessment by contacting his local VHC assessment agency by calling 1300 550 450.
  • As a result of the VHC assessment, Peter aged 88, was approved to receive domestic assistance and in-home respite care services as part of the VHC program.
  • Domestic assistance services will help with things like cleaning and laundry while in-home respite for a few hours will mean that someone will be able to come to their home to look after Norma while Peter is away at his granddaughter’s wedding later in the year.
  • Peter was able to access assistance by DVA with his travel to attend his follow up medical appointments after his heart attack, under DVA’s Repatriation Transport Scheme.
  • Peter’s doctor also referred him to DVA’s Community Nursing Program to help with medication management and personal care tasks such as showering while he recovers.

The examples on this site are based on real people and their experiences

Last reviewed: 30 June, 2015.