Heart Attack: What is at stake for people who live with disabilities?


A heart attack happens when there is a sudden, complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart. As a result, some of the heart muscle starts to die. The longer you leave the blockage untreated, the more the heart muscle is damaged. A doctor needs to restore the blood flow quickly; otherwise the damage to the heart muscle is permanent.

Too many people lose their lives because they wait too long to get treatment for heart attack. If you think you are having a heart attack, call Triple Zero (000). Ask the operator for an ambulance and do not hang up. 

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Heart attack: Another story about our old friend the Chairman of Country Cottage

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On the brink of life and death, The Chairman visits the Emergency Department. But where is the Lady of the House?

By Ken Hua (Retired Flourish Australia Employee) 

Part I

It was very early morning of Wednesday, 4th April 2018, when our old friend The Chairman of Country Cottage was feeling kind of short of breath. He was walking unsteadily and had chest pain. He had been feeling kind of restless and found it hard to fall asleep since 10.00pm the night before. Our Chairman was trying to put the pain out of his mind on this quiet cold night and he kept telling himself: ‘Perhaps it is my depression causing the problem. He was used to depression and could have handled it accordingly. 

Our Chairman and the Lady of the House looked at the clock and as time dragged on the pain became worse and worse. A little before 4.00am, our Chairman turned to the Lady of the House and said: 

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Back On Track Health: Regular or intense pain


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By Warren Heggarty

Do you experience regular or intense pain anywhere in your body? Or do you have an old injury that can sometimes cause pain?

According to Pain Australia, everyone, including medical practitioners, could benefit from a better understanding of chronic pain. Like mental health issues, there is stigma associated with it, a sense that person with chronic pain is somehow making it all up. Pain is invisible to others and this can add to the frustration when it interferes with your day-to-day living. 

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Back On Track Health: My Health Needs Checklist



The My Health Needs Checklist is a booklet that helps you keep track of your physical health and wellbeing. Our physical health is an important part of our overall wellness. We can use the Checklist to review our health and highlight the things that we would like to talk about to our Doctors.

The list has 32 items, including some suggestions about common questions people might have. There is also space for you to make notes or write down your own questions. 

There is also a section to write down what you want to talk to the doctor about and to record what the doctor said. This is important because it is easy to forget things or to get off the track when you are visiting a doctor. You could even show your Checklist to the doctor. 

Just in case you need some advice after hours, the checklist has the number for HealthDirect Australia, a 24-hour telephone health advice line staffed by Registered Nurses to provide health advice: 1800 022 222.

If you want more information about the My Health Needs Checklist, call 1300 779 270 or email info@flourishaustralia.org.au

Back On Track Health: Staying upright!


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By Warren Heggarty

Everyone is at risk of falling. In fact, falling can be fun (if done properly) and is built into a lot of sports such as Gymnastics, Rugby Union and Rugby League. Unfortunately, if you do not have good general fitness, falling can be dangerous. This is especially true for older people, people with serious medical conditions, people who take medicine that affects their balance, and people who have no regular exercise. 

What causes balance problems?

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Aim High! Battling the Tyranny of Low Expectations

Danny CraneIf your dreams don’t scare you a bit, maybe they aren’t quite big enough?PHOTO BY WARREN HEGGARTY

By Grant J Everett

Even if you haven’t heard of “the tyranny of low expectations”, you may have experienced it firsthand. The tyranny of low expectations happens when somebody is told they are useless, hopeless, good for nothing and will go nowhere until they finally believe it for themselves. Sadly, this can leave you feeling unworthy and incapable of pursuing life’s pleasures and fulfilments, so goals like furthering your education, finding a decent job and meeting your soulmate can feel impossibly out of reach. 

For ANYONE to believe this is profoundly sad.

While the tyranny of low expectations can affect anybody, those of us with mental health issues would almost certainly be personally familiar with it to some degree. Being described in negative ways is usually at the core of it, with reductive labels and other forms of stigma compounding these beliefs until we are convinced that we cannot go as far in life as a “normal” person, as though a mental health diagnosis automatically excludes us from good things. As words can build us up or tear us down, this is why Flourish Australia has a major emphasis on using recovery-based language across our entire organisation. 

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Shared equity for steeeep housing prices: Innovative shared equity scheme to help low-income earners buy homes

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Social housing schemes have mostly concentrated on affordable rent. What about affordable ownership? A new housing development in North Melbourne, Victoria, might be a model for the future. 

By Warren Heggarty

There is no more fundamental form of economic security than owning your own home. Yet home ownership is portrayed as being beyond the reach of even moderately well-off people these days. This has not stopped people looking for new ways to foster home ownership opportunities even among low-income people. 

In June Panorama, we told how Flourish Australia has been involved in the Guildford affordable housing project under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. We developed a block of 41 home units in Guildford, 21 of which are for rent at rates 20 per cent below the market rate, and 20 of which are for sale. 

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