Disability Support – Linkages

This service (known as Northern Disability Linkages), offers support for people and their carers whose primary disability is of a physical nature and who need assistance in the choices of care that can best assist them within their home and accessing the community. This service adopts a person centred/family sensitive approach to enable people to live full and active lives. It strives to be flexible and creative in responding to each person’s needs. The service is centred on the needs of individuals and their quest for an acceptable quality of life and independence within their own home and local community.


Why would I use this service?

You would use this service if you or a family member are living with a physical disability or complex care needs and want assistance in the areas of home, personal care or support and help with caring choices. You would also use this service if you are a parent or carer in need of support, advice and more information on the best caring options. This service also helps those clients who appear to fall into a service void or those who are at risk of premature or inappropriate placement in residential or institutional care.  This service provides levels of support and services beyond what is already available in the general community.


You may be eligible if you have children from 6-18 years of age, or you are an adult (up to 70 years), who is living with a disability or complex care needs, who lives alone or with acarerwho may be ageing, unwell or in need of support.  You may also be eligible if you are a person who requires help to coordinate the services they need. You will need to reside in Nillumbik, Darebin, Banyule or Whittlesea Local Government Areas.

Do I need a referral?

Referrals are accepted from people living with a disability, their family/carers and from service providers. People are accepted into the service on the basis of their need. Acceptance depends on suitable eligibility, available places and a demonstrated need for Case Management. Onceaccepted youare placed on a waiting list where people are prioritised based on demonstrated need, priority factors, urgency and level of risk.

How can I make an appointment?

Contact our Service Coordination team on 9430 9100 or make an online enquiry.

How much does it cost?

Fees apply for this service and are based on family income.  Please enquire about our fees policy at the time of referral. healthAbility policyis that individuals will not be excluded due to an inability to pay.

Is this a home based or centre based service?

This is a home-based service.

 healthAbility services are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.

Meindert’s Story

Mr Meindert Withoff was a self employed engineer aged 46 years old who suffered a catastrophic stroke in November 2008. He is married with three children aged 11, 7 and 4 years old and lives with his wife in a property in Warrandyte. The stroke resulted in a severe dense left sided weakness and right sided visual neglect.

He was referred to Nillumbik Health Linkages Program in September 2009 from the Royal Talbot Hospital and was allocated a package in January 2010 for 6-12 month short term case management. The Case Manager successfully managed to secure a one off grant for Meindert from Arbias to assist with transport and community access for $5000. This enabled Meindert to pursue personal goals and interests.

Since receiving support, Meindert has commenced art classes once a week in Eltham and paints regularly at home; attends woodwork classes at Kew and has recently made a device to enable him to go fishing (a hobby he enjoyed prior to his stroke) using one hand; has commenced a stroke support group in Heathmont; attends the ‘special blokes with strokes’ meeting every month; goes to the Warrandyte pub once a fortnight; has set up a group for kinder and primary school dads within the area; and goes to AFL games, bowling, cooking classes and many more activities.

Despite some early setbacks, Meindert believes he has retained his positive outlook and is determined to make the most of every opportunity. He has found new inspiration and motivation in art, and his painting “Feathers of Hope” has been short listed in the State Trustees Connected 10 exhibition, which showcases the works of Victorians with disabilities. Meindert describes his situation as a whole life change “….because I can’t do the things I could before, I give anything a try these days to stay very positive”.

The Community Access grant has almost been fully utilised and Meindert has prepared his own request letter to ask for a second grant to enable him to continue to pursue goals, hobbies and interests.  Despite his disability, Meindert describes himself as; “… trying to have a meaningful life, it’s the idea that you have to  make the best of what you can do, not what you can’t!”


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