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Remarkable Disability Accelerator: MediStays Story

Remarkable Disability Accelerator: MediStays Story

This year, MediStays were honoured to be selected for the 2021 Remarkable Disability Accelerator program! As shared by Remarkable this is “Australia’s first accelerator for early-stage startups creating technology to positively impact life for people with disability“. This 14 week opportunity immersed MediStays in the world of disability tech startups, masterclasses and presentations, all backed up with our incredible 1:1 coach Ben Reid of Digital Creators

MediStays have some big projects underway to increase the support we provide for Australians needing accommodation. Together with the Remarkable Disability Accelerator team, we focussed on development of our website, digital accessibility and enhancing the user experience for our community. We’ll keep you updated with these exciting improvements in the coming months!  

We greatly appreciated this opportunity and acknowledge support by the disability tech accelerator Remarkable, a division of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, with funding from principal partner the icare Foundation and accelerator partner Telstra Foundation.

Thank you to Remarkable and Clothesline Content for sharing MediStays story below…

 Sarah Everitt [00:00:02]

It’s really humbling to know that you can have a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s very grounding and very rewarding.

 

My name is Sarah Everitt and I’m the director and co-founder of MediStays. MediStays is a platform to support people on a medical journey, who need to be accommodated somewhere safe and trusted.

 

The other co-founder is Craig, who is also my husband. Craig and I both had been working in cancer clinics for our entire careers. We both also grew up in country towns. And so we both loved meeting people that were traveling from the country but heard from them over and over how challenging it was to travel long distances for care and that one of the biggest barriers was finding somewhere safe to stay nearby.

 

In 2016, my aunt was diagnosed with cancer and she was living in a remote outback community as a nurse. And she ended up flying to Sydney with the Royal Flying Doctor Service for emergency surgery. And it was at that time when we started Googling for accommodation for a family to stay with her and realized that the only options that we were coming up with a holiday websites. 

 

That was definitely the light bulb moment when we decided to take action and thought there must be a better way. We were really surprised by how significant this problem was. A study in New South Wales showed that for every 100 km people had to travel for cancer care the survival was reduced by 6 per cent.

 

To get ready, MediStays developed and off the ground was a huge learning curve, and I guess we’re just continually on the vertical. Our first step was to set up an MVP basic website.

 

The next step was really to create a platform where we had more relevant information for people, so accessibility, access to financial support, also support services and detailed information about the accommodation.

 

We launched the MediStays website in 2017 with around 18 properties and now we have more than 700 properties Australia wide. Everybody within the Remarkable team is so passionate about positively impacting the lives of people with disabilities.

 

So for the start ups involved in the program, it’s like they’re, just fully immersed in helping us succeed. It’s just so incredibly humbling. And we can have a really big day and that one tiny piece of feedback just absolutely fills my tank to want to strive and keep on supporting people in the future.

[00:02:26]

Remarkable
Peace of mind when you need accommodation near the Austin Hospital

Peace of mind when you need accommodation near the Austin Hospital

Since partnering with MediStays in 2020, our partners at Punthill Ivanhoe have supported patients, families and carers with hundreds of nights’ accommodation near the Austin Hospital.

In this week’s blog, find out why this property provides everything we look for in an accommodation partner.

The location

When booking hospital accommodation, staying close by is a top 3 request for patients and families. Punthill Ivanhoe ticks this box, being located right in the centre of the Ivanhoe health and medical precinct. The property is a 500-metre walk or easy car drop off to the Austin Hospital and Warringal Private Hospital.

It is also a convenient base for patients and families visiting the Mercy Hospital for Women (750 meters), the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (700 meters), and Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital (1.1 km).

So whether so are travelling for your own medical care or to be with a loved one, you will be staying nice and close by.

Austin Hospital Map

The accommodation

Fully self-contained apartments offer the convenience of home during your stay. Whether you are booking a stay for 1 – 2 nights or many months, Punthill Ivanhoe offers all the facilities you will need.

Each apartment features fully equipped kitchens enabling you to prepare your own meals throughout your stay. MediStays can also arrange meal deliveries, a great option at the end of a long day.

Spacious living & dining areas are relaxing, and separate bedrooms enable guests to rest while others are up and about. Each apartment features a laundry, with full washer and dryer.

A balcony also provides extended outdoor living and fresh air during your stay.

Medistays Punthill Ivanhoe

Bathrooms

Brand new bathrooms with walk-in showers are featured in every apartment. Fresh towels and linen are provided daily for short stays and weekly for longer stays. The onsite team are also happy to top these during your stay. 

Accessibility

Fully wheelchair accessible one-bedroom apartments are located at this property. The bathrooms feature roll-in bathrooms with handrails and height-adjusted bathroom vanities. The property team also have shower chairs and toilet seats available for your loan. To book these apartments, please contact MediStays for availability and pricing.

The rates

When you book through MediStays, Punthill  Ivanhoe have provided us with discounted rates for your stay. Short stays are discounted online for you to book directly. If you need to assistance to book or have a long stay coming up, our team are here to assist you.

In addition to discounted rates at the property, MediStays are here to support you with our expert knowledge of financial assistance options for patients and families. Whether you are travelling from greater Melbourne, regional Victoria or interstate, contact our team for further information. 

Peace of mind

When you are travelling for medical care and spending long days at hospital, it is such peace of mind to return to a clean and safe apartment. The Punthill Ivanhoe team are professional and responsive and delight in ensuring your stay is as comfortable as possible. 

To book your stay at Punthill Ivanhoe

Click here to book online or contact our team for booking assistance and long stay rates

PARKROYAL Monash Melbourne partner with MediStays to support patients and families travelling to the Monash Children’s Hospital

PARKROYAL Monash Melbourne partner with MediStays to support patients and families travelling to the Monash Children’s Hospital

MediStays are so proud to partner with the brand new PARKROYAL Monash Melbourne. Every year thousands of babies, children and teenagers receive specialist medical care at the Monash Children’s Hospital. Until now, there have been limited options for families and carers to stay nearby.  Our new partners at Monash Melbourne are conveniently located just a short drive to the Monash Children’s Hospital. It is also very close to the major Monash  Medical Centre, giving peace of mind for patients and families.

Guest Rooms

250 rooms provide lots of options for patients and parents and families booking accommodation with MediStays.

The King rooms are an excellent option for couples and parents. Big, comfortable king size beds, with a private ensuite and views across the city. For more flexibility, the Twin rooms offer two single beds. This is a perfect option for parents and children. When we assist parents to book accommodation near hospitals it is often for one parent and the child attending the hospital.  Even though both parents would often love to be there to support their little one and each other, the reality is that someone needs to stay at home to care for other children or keep working. The other great option for the king and twin room is you can bring your own porta-cot or book one with your MediStays booking.

Extra children? Extra bedding for children under 12 is absolutely free. So, if you are booking a king or twin room and need an extra foldaway, just let us know in your bookings notes.

Bathrooms

Brand new bathrooms with walk-in showers are featured with every type of room. There are also some room types with a bath, just check the room descriptions on our website for your preference. And if you arrive in a rush, you will be pleased to know that basic toiletries are all included for you when you arrive.

Accessibility

13 purpose built wheelchair accessible suites can be booked with MediStays. These rooms are in the superior king category and feature roll-in bathrooms with hand rails and height-adjusted bathroom vanities. There are shower chairs and toilet seats onsite. The best part is that you can book these rooms directly on the MediStays website. No need to call and ask for the wheelchair accessible room, you can book in your own time. 

Parking and transport

Onsite car-parking is very convenient. As this is shared within the building, there is a fee involved. To book parking, please make  a comment in your booking note and pay at the property directly. The Clayton Train Station is just 2.7km away and linked via bus.

Peace of mind

When you are travelling for medical care, it can often be the little extras that make such a difference. At the PARKROYAL Monash Melbourne, there are staff on reception 24 hours a day. This is such peace of mind if you are arriving late or need assistance at anytime. Getting fresh food and meals is also so easy with a Woolworths supermarket onsite, take away food and restaurants, a pharmacy and small shops.

To book your stay at PARKROYAL Monash Melbourne, simply visit our website and book online, or contact our helpful team for assistance.

parkroyalmonash-medistays
parkroyalmonash-medistays
Medium Term Accommodation: tips for referring your NDIS participant

Medium Term Accommodation: tips for referring your NDIS participant

Medium Term Accommodation, also referred to as ‘MTA’, was launched by the NDIS just over a year ago. Incredibly, the timing of this new service coincided with Covid-19, major changes in healthcare and an urgent need for medium term accommodation solutions. Hospitals and rehabilitation centres began rapidly discharging patients to free-up beds for covid positive cases. Many aged care homes were also closed to new residents and group living arrangements were also limited.

At MediStays, we found ourselves in a unique and privileged situation to rapidly support referrals for MTA. Our model meant that NDIS participants could be safely accommodated with many of our wonderful property partners across the country.

One of the most rewarding parts of this process was reuniting NDIS participants with their loved ones. Because our properties are private, participants and their partners can live together, with the assistance of formal supports. This was life-changing for so many families who had experienced the isolation of strict visiting hours in hospitals and communal living centres. 

So, where are we now? Twelve months on, MediStays is proud to support NDIS participants, families, NDIS organisations, hospitals and rehabilitation centres.  It is the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on what is working really well for MTA referrals and to support our wonderful referrers and community in the future

MediStays Tip – MTA is an ideal support for participants needing to move out of home during accessibility renovations. 

Firstly, who can use MTA?

While awareness of Medium Term Accommodation has increased. this is a common question asked by NDIS participants, families and referrers.

The overall aim of MTA is to provide safe and appropriate bridging accommodation. It is generally not for short term stays, and is not a permanent housing solution like Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). As a result, MTA suits participants needing accommodation for around 1-3 months.

The most common scenarios for MTA referrals approved by the NDIA include:

1) for participants awaiting permanent SDA housing. MTA provides essential interim accommodation for people ready to be discharged from hospital and rehabilitation care. This is a significant milestone and stepping stone to SDA, especially after many months or years as an inpatient.

2) providing a safe place to stay during home modifications. These referrals are received by MediStays to assist Australians living with progressive diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease.  Home renovations including bathroom and kitchen renovations and the installation of accessible ramps are so important to support participants and their families to continue living at home. MTA enables participants, their families and carers to move out briefly during renovation works.  

What is the best way to find MTA with MediStays?

At MediStays we are proud to partner with more than 700 properties Australia-wide. While some of these properties can be found on our front-facing website, others are offline in our NDIS database (current project!). And if the property can be seen on the website, the online information may only relate to hospital patients and families, not NDIS bookings.

So, it is important to always contact us directly when you’re searching for Medium Term Accommodation. 

Information specific to NDIS is only accessible by direct referral. This includes accessibility information, rates and inclusions. All NDIS bookings are made by MediStays Care Navigators in order to secure our rates and to arrange invoicing. 

MediStays Tip: Contact us directly for all MTA bookings so we can provide you with accurate accessibility, availability and rate information

A MediStays MTA referral only takes 2 minutes!

We have designed a super easy MTA referral form that will take you under 2 minutes to complete!

We know how busy you are and keep it brief to assist our Care Navigators with a general baseline for your referral. We review your enquiry and do all the hard work for you  – searching  the best properties and coming back to you with specific questions.

Why does MediStays ask about funding?

If you tell us MTA is approved, we are ready for action! When required, we can safely triage MTA bookings for arrival within 24 hours. If a hospital discharge needs to be arranged, this usually takes more time to ensure supports and equipment are also ready.

If MTA is not yet approved, this is also helpful for us to know. Our experience shows that MTA often won’t be approved unless SDA is approved/getting close to ready. This isn’t always the case, but it is good to know. We assist you with quotations for NDIA approval and to explore the best options so you are ready when the time comes.

MediStays Tip: Sharing if funding is approved (or not) helps us to best support you and your participant with the right information

How does MediStays prioritise the information?

Accessibility Number #1

For referrals where accessibility is required, this is always our first priority. While we may be able to compromise on property location or size, there are not compromises when it comes to ensuring a property is safe and appropriate.

Our Care Navigators  discuss specific accessibility requirements with you and short-list suitable properties. Our extensive offline database of information contains a range of information including bathroom accessibility, circulation space, door-widths and car-parking. 

At MediStays, we love collaboration and work closely with the referral team to achieve the best outcome for every participant. This can include onsite and virtual OT and accessibility assessments to ensure the recommended property matches the individual requirements of your client.   

MediStays Tip: Share as much information as possible about your participant’s individual accessibility requirements and preferences.

Location, location, location

We ask you about location. While your participant might currently be in hospital, this may not be the area they would like to live. MTA might be better suited near to family, supports and/or future SDA housing. Sharing the preferred location(s), we search for properties close by.

We always aim to recommend properties within a 5km radius (always 10km) to ensure formal supports are close by. Even if you can suggest 3 top suburbs or locations, that is a huge help.

Supporting choice and control for supports

We also ask you about informal and formal supports. At MediStays, we are proud of our model that enables NDIS participants to exercise choice and control for their personal care. We empower participants to bring their existing supports or to choose the best team for their personal care.

Depending on care needs during the stay, we ask when supports will be visiting. If supports are staying overnight, will they be awake (active) or sleeping (passive)? If they are sleeping, we ensure bedding is included. For some participants, their overnight support might be their husband, wife or partner. Or it might be a combination. Whatever your client’s support needs are, the flexibility of MediStays model enables participants to arrange carers and bedding that best suits their personal needs.

MediStays Tip: At the time of your MTA referral, try to find out if formal supports are required overnight and, if so, will they need a bed. 

What if I need a quotation?

MediStays provides comprehensive quotations for your enquiry. Our quotes are used for your NDIA submission and may include different options, such as a one or two-bedroom apartment. This might also be a good time to pencil in options for future stays when approval has been granted.

I am ready to book MTA

When you are ready to book NDIS MTA, touch base with MediStays to request our service agreement. If you have already received a quotation, please also mention your quote number. Our Medium Term Accommodation service agreement clearly explains the schedule of supports – what supports are included and how much they will cost. It also explains any supports and costs that are not supported by the NDIS. And if you have any questions, our experienced team are always here to assist.

When is the booking confirmed?

Bookings for MTA are secured once the service agreement has been signed. The service agreement provides us with the participants approval to proceed, source of funds and dates for the stay. Three very important factors for a smooth transition!

MediStays Tip: Be sure to complete our service agreement so we can lock in your MTA. Whether it is needed in the coming days or one months time,  a signed service agreement will guarantee your booking. 

We hope you have found these tips helpful for your next MTA referral. With experience assisting such a broad range of referrals, we are constantly able to build on our model and support you through difficult times.

 

Travelling interstate for life-saving liver surgery: the journey of a young Tasmanian patient

Travelling interstate for life-saving liver surgery: the journey of a young Tasmanian patient

Nikki’s 34-year-old daughter Samantha was diagnosed with a chronic liver condition 10 years ago. While she had been relatively stable since then, she did suffer regular bouts of pain. Samantha’s last attack left her crippled with excruciating pain that was getting worse.

“Her GP took one look at her and knew she wasn’t in good shape at all. We immediately called an ambulance,” said Nikki who, along with her daughter, live in Hobart, Tasmania.

Interstate travel decision, Hobart to Melbourne

 

Doctors at the Royal Hobart Hospital discovered Samantha, an IT manager, had developed sepsis and a liver blockage. She ended up in the intensive care unit.

Two surgical procedures later and doctors were still unable to clear the blockage and fix the damage. It was decided that Samantha needed specialised care at a larger specialist hospital. That was when Samantha and Nikki planned next steps and their travel to the Austin Hospital in Melbourne was organised via an air ambulance.

“It was daunting, but we knew that when people are very, very ill, Melbourne was the place to be,” Nikki said. “Because she was such a unique case it was the best thing for her.”

medistays tasmania patient support ptas

Samantha (in blue), her twin sister Sheldene (left) and Mum Nikki (centre)

The search for accommodation in Melbourne

 

The idea of finding suitable accommodation so she could be near the Austin Hospital was playing on Nikki’s mind, but she found MediStays while searching on the internet. MediStays were able to find Nikki a place to stay only 300 metres from the hospital at a discounted rate.

“There was a grocery, pharmacy and restaurants all nearby,” Nikki said. ‘We had everything we needed.”

Nikki was grateful for the help MediStays offered in finding financial support for Samantha through the Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS).

“….. MediStays arranged everything for us which was fantastic. Every time we got in touch with MediStays, they went over and above what they needed to do.”

Crucial family support for interstate patient

 

Nikki is now taking turns with her daughter and son-in-law, flying back and forth from Tasmania to Melbourne, to ensure Samantha always has family around her. Nikki has extended the accommodation for another 14 days as her daughter recovers in hospital and doctors continue monitoring her.

While she would like her daughter home in Hobart as soon as possible, Nikki said she doesn’t want Samantha leaving until she’s ready.

“I feel so much better with her getting care in Melbourne,” she said. “Tasmania doesn’t have the equipment or the experience to deal with some cases and Samantha is an extreme case.”

Next steps, awaiting a life-saving liver transplant

 

Nikki touched base to share an update with us on Samantha’s progress and next steps for her care “Samantha signed consent forms for a liver transplant yesterday so she is officially on the transplant waiting list. We will definitely be using your services in the near future.”

Thank you so much to Nikki, Samantha and family for generously sharing your personal experience with Louise at MediStays.

We wish Samantha all the best for the coming months as she patiently awaits the gift of a liver transplant. Australia are leaders in organ transplantation and in 2019, more than 1600 Australians were the recipients of a life-saving organ donation. To learn more about organ donation, to register, or donate to this important cause, please visit the Australian Donate Life website or Transplant Australia

Booking Assistance

MediStays is here to support every Australian needing accommodation near hospitals.

There is no eligibility criteria for our free service – we assist patients, families, carers and staff.