Anita – I’m telling my story because more people need to know

Anita – I’m telling my story because more people need to know

Life took a dramatic turn in 2015, when 53-year-old Byron Bay woman, Anita Carden, went hiking in New Zealand with her husband.

“We were walking back from a glacier. Easy. A really easy walk. And I rolled an ankle. That’s all. I didn’t sprain it,” Anita said.

“I didn’t realise it at the time, but at that point my nervous system had malfunctioned and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) set in.”

 

 

Anita said CRPS is a chronic nerve pain condition, usually affecting the arms, legs, hands or feet. It can occur after injury or trauma, and is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the nervous system.

“It’s one of the most debilitating and difficult to treat of all chronic pain conditions,” she said. 

“I woke up the next morning and couldn’t bear weight. It had changed colour, and it was a done deal at that point. Though I didn’t know it at the time.

“I thought I must have strained it. My husband looked at it and said, ‘It looks like it’s broken’, but I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even really remember hurting it, it was such an insignificant injury.” 

Two days later the couple flew home.

Anita sitting beachside“My GP thought it might be a blood clot because I’d been flying, but the tests came back clear.

“I went to another GP, then another – five GPs in total for different opinions. Then I saw a Neurosurgeon, but he didn’t know.

“I went to a Vascular Surgeon, and he was concerned. At that point my leg was cold and blue.

“Next, I saw a Rheumatologist who said, ‘I think that might be CRPS’. I said ‘What’s that?’”

Anita said she spent the next six months going back and forth to a Lismore pain clinic, but there wasn’t anything it could do.

“By the time I left the clinic, my leg was bleeding. It was basically dead,” she said.

“I then travelled to Adelaide where a doctor performed a sympathectomy, injecting anaesthetic into the sympathetic nerve in my spine. It didn’t work.

“The doctor then tried a sciatic nerve block. It didn’t work either, so I was referred to Sydney’s North Shore Hospital where doctors performed a spinal cord stimulator – a $50,000 treatment – but again, nothing.

Anita said at this point, having exhausted all other treatment options, she realised her only course of action was amputation.

It was after her leg was amputated, and she was left with a lifelong disability, her journey with Social Futures and the NDIS began.  

“My Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, Winston Guymer, was absolutely brilliant,” she said.

“What I love about the NDIS is that they have compassion for the individual.

“There are so many people needing help, you worry that you could become a number, but the NDIS hasn’t made me feel that way. I feel I have been treated with respect all the way along.”

Anita sitting on a bench with crutchesIn May, the NDIS funded the best microprocessor knee available for Anita.  

“It was a really big claim Winston put in” Anita said. “I thought I don’t know if I am going to get this, but if I didn’t get that knee, I really felt my days would be over,” she said

“I’m a really active person. I’m at the beach most days, jumping over rock pools. I want to go back to New Zealand and hike glaciers. I felt if I didn’t get the waterproof knee, my active life would’ve been finished, but Winston and the NDIS understood, when they looked at my life, they could see it was what I needed. That is compassion and empathy.

“I wanted to do this story, because more people need to know the NDIS does actually care about people. I don’t feel like a number. Too many people complain about the NDIS – I think it’s great.

“Losing a leg is life-changing,” Anita said. “I thought I’m in my fifties – will I ever regain my mobility again? The answer is yes. I am almost there, and I have had a great experience – our NDIS is second to none.

 

“Many disabilities are invisible, and some people hide their disability, but not me. I want people to see this is what can happen, but with the right help, you can transition back into society and be able-bodied,” Anita said.

Social Futures delivers Local Area Coordination services for the NDIS across more than half of NSW.

To talk to a Local Area Coordinator email [email protected] or call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm).

 

Using her NDIS plan 

Anita’s NDIS supports have helped her achieve: 

  • independence and mobility
  • the chance to live the active life she wants to

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh.

“One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme through Social Futures I’ve been able to get out and about taking photos of the landscape,” he says.

 

 

“I was out there through the bushfires and the empty dams, then this year I’ve been able to watch the land transform from drought to beautiful green and I’ve got a photographic record of it.

“There’s a road between Dubbo and Molong called Banjo Paterson Way that’s got sculptures of animals on bikes along a 100km stretch. There’s about 100 of these sculptures and I shot 49 of them during the drought.

“Now it’s all green again and I’m taking more photos to do a ‘before and after’ sequence, which I’m working on turning into postcards for the Banjo Paterson Museum so they can raise some money by selling them to tourists.”

Michael, 60, has lived in Wellington for most of the past 15 years since recovering from a 2005 motorbike accident in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region. He broke his neck in the accident and has lived with quadriplegia since then, although he has regained some movement in his arms and hands.

“Not good enough to push a wheelchair or hold power tools but I can do a lot of things with my arms and hands,” he says. “I’m actually a lot better off than many people with quadriplegia, I’ve only got three locked-up fingers.”

Michael says at the time of his accident he was “living the dream”.

“I grew up in the Kimberley, left when I was 18 and always wanted to go back, so when I got the chance to return when I was 31 I took it with both hands,” he says. “By the time of the accident I’d bought a house, I’d got married, I was working for myself, things were looking rosy.

“Then my life ended, or that’s the way it seemed for many years.”

After the accident Michael spent four months in hospital in Perth, then was able to transfer to Sydney’s Royal Rehab Hospital because of his NSW family ties and eventually moved in with his mother in Wellington after completing rehab. He still lives with his mother and has a sister living close by.

“I didn’t have access to much personal support beyond my family or therapeutic assistance after I finished rehab, nor did I have much to live on,” he says. “There was a lot of equipment I couldn’t afford and my family and local community had to fundraise to purchase a vehicle for me and modify it – it cost a lot of money.

“People talk about how hard it is going through lockdown, well, I was in lockdown for nine years before the NDIS came along.”

Since joining the NDIS two years ago Michael says his life has “improved out of sight – I’m no longer the prisoner of Wellington.”

“The NDIS has given me the ability to do things and actually live a life,” Michael says. “Before I didn’t have the option of going off to the movies once a week, or going away for the weekend, or pursuing my photography seriously.

“Now that I’ve got a support worker to drive me around I’ve gone from occasionally going out to take a few quick snaps to actually producing something good that I can exhibit or potentially sell. Couldn’t have done that without the NDIS.”

Michael has three adult daughters and 11 grandchildren but hardly saw them in the years following his accident. One daughter lives in the Hunter Valley while the other two live in Queensland.

“I’ve always kept in touch with my girls but before I got onto Facebook I rarely saw them or the growing number of grandkids, because it was just too difficult and too expensive,” he says.

“After the NDIS came in I was able to pay for one of my carers to drive me up to Brisbane for the first time and got together with pretty much everyone in my family, including 10 of my grandkids. It was fantastic.”

Michael’s NDIS plan funds personal care and domestic assistance for up to 44 hours a week, and he has extra funding to pay a support worker to drive him to social and community activities for a further eight hours a week.

He also accesses physical and occupational therapy using his NDIS funding, and recently all his internal power points and some outside taps were raised as part of ongoing approved home modifications.

“I’ve got a man cave in the carport that I’ve filled up with ferns, and now I can water them myself,” he says.

Michael continues to experience problems with his short-term memory resulting from the head trauma incurred at the time of his accident, which makes keeping appointments and managing his care a challenge.

“If you tell me something now, in three days’ time I won’t remember it,” he says. “Luckily I’ve had really good support from Summah, my Social Futures Local Area Coordinator, and from service provider breakthru which coordinates all my care.”

“It took some time to fine tune my plan but it’s ended up delivering everything I need. The NDIS has completely transformed my life.”

NB: The NDIS is now supporting more than 400,000 Australians with disability, including more than 175,000 people who are receiving support for the first time. On 1 July 2020, the NDIS marked seven years since the inception of the Scheme, and it is now available to all eligible Australians. More than 124,000 people in New South Wales are now being supported.

The NDIS provides eligible Australians with disability with the supports they need to live more independently and to increase their social and economic participation.

If you would like more information about Social Futures Local Area Coordination for the NDIS, call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 between 8:30-4:30pm Monday to Friday or email [email protected].

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Chesney flies the coop

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago.

Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has intellectual disability and autism and Ross said life before the NDIS was difficult.

“We didn’t have a lot of funding or support,” he said. “I used to spend hours in the car, driving 200 kilometres a day, two days a week, to get Chesney to his after school work at the biscuit factory.”

Then they met their Local Area Coordinator, Tracey, from Social Futures, and things began to get easier.

Chesney’s NDIS plan included transport funding. It meant he could catch a taxi to Parkes, halving his dad’s travel time, but Ross and Sandy were becoming concerned about Chesney’s future.

He had lived with them on the farm all his life, and they knew they weren’t going to be around to take care of him forever.

A big change came though, when Ross and Sandy took off to New Zealand for their first holiday alone in 30 years.

“Chesney received NDIS funding for respite care for the two weeks they were away. He stayed in a little apartment, in Forbes, with regular contact from support workers, and discovered independence.

“He did whatever he wanted for two whole weeks while we were in New Zealand and he’s been badgering me to move out on his own ever since!” Ross said.

The move to his own home happened a month ago and Chesney hasn’t looked back.

“He is a five minute walk to his workplace. He gets himself off to work each day, and it’s only a short bike ride to his older sister’s house.

“I went to see Chesney last weekend,” Ross said. “At 10am, he was lounging around in his pyjamas, eating pancakes he’d made himself for breakfast.

“He goes out on Thursdays with two of his friends from the biscuit factory and comes home to see us every second weekend.

“Chesney now has access to a range of activities. He has more choice over what he wants to do and how he wants to spend his time than he has ever had before,” Ross said.

Once a week, Chesney joins a support group and goes to Orange or Dubbo where he visits the library, gym and pool.

“If you saw Chesney two years ago, he was a very different person. He actually says hello to people now, he smiles and has confidence. He has independence now and things to do with his time.

“He just wouldn’t have been able to do this before. Nowadays he has support funding for someone to come and visit him every day, to help him write a shopping list of what he wants to eat for the week, and to make sure he isn’t cooking himself fish and chips every night!”

“Being unwell myself, the knowledge he will have ongoing lifelong support from the NDIS if he needs it, is a great relief,” said Ross.

“Everything is working really well. I’ve never had trouble or difficulty getting everything we’ve needed.”

Social Futures delivers Local Area Coordination services for the NDIS across more than 50% of NSW.

To talk to a Local Area Coordinator email [email protected] or call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 (Mon-Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm).

Using his NDIS plan

Chesney’s NDIS supports have helped him achieve: 

  • greater independence through living on his own in supported accommodation
  • greater self-confidence
  • Increased social capacity

 

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life.

“There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan.

“At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left school, he went on a disability pension, but there was nothing for him to do – no programs or supports,” Joan added.

 

But life has taken a positive turn for Rob who has come along in leaps and bounds since meeting Michael at Social Futures and becoming a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant.

“He’s got confidence now!” Joan said.

“People would say to me a few years ago, when he first started on the NDIS, ‘he walks upright now’, and ‘he’s so proud of himself’.

Without the NDIS he wouldn’t have been able to afford the supports he now has. The NDIS has put that within our grasp,” Joan said.

“Michael, our Social Futures LAC, has been really fantastic.

“He keeps in touch and any time there is anything up, I just have to ring him.

“I can see him anytime – the support is there the whole time. Social Futures have been able to suggest other additional supports for Rob to access through his plan. They’ve been just wonderful,” said Joan.

Prior to receiving NDIS support, Rob lived with his elderly mother, and Joan would do the shopping, cooking and housecleaning with support from home delivered meals a couple of times a week.

Now, Rob is able to access home support through the NDIS for housecleaning and cooking. He has even learned to cook for himself, preparing his own meals two or three nights a week.

This has taken the pressure off Joan, who can now spend more quality time with her brother, as well as more time with her husband.

“I think the NDIS is fantastic,” Joan said. “It’s a real load off, you’ve got no idea how much.”

Rob is also learning literacy, numeracy and cooking.

“He can now use an ATM card, and is learning literacy and numeracy so he can write his own grocery lists,” Joan said.

“Here’s me, I can’t even use a computer and he does computers!” Joan said with a laugh.

“Now, he can also write cards to his niece and nephew, which he wasn’t ever able to do before!”

Joan said the social aspects of the groups Rob accesses have been a lifesaver for him, and now he goes on outings to the cinema and the shops.

However, the most incredible thing for Rob has been his increased independence.

For the first time Rob travelled on his own by bus from his sister’s home in Adelaide back to Broken Hill.

“He never would have been able to do that before,” Joan said. “His confidence and independence have really come a long way.

“I couldn’t fault the staff in terms of the help I have had through the NDIS. It’s just phenomenal,” Joan added.

If you would like more information about Social Futures Local Area Coordination for the NDIS, call our LAC Hotline on 1800 522 679 between 8:30-4:30pm Monday to Friday or email [email protected].

Using his NDIS plan

Rob’s NDIS supports have helped him:

  • Increase his confidence and independence
  • Access community and social outings
  • With support cooking, shopping and cleaning
  • To travel independently

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required



Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted.


Jack has a number of undiagnosed conditions. After years of genetic testing, he and his parents, Andrew and Melanie, have no answers. He is non-verbal and needs a wheelchair to get around. But last year, Jack and his parents met Angela. And their lives changed.

 

Angela Turner works at Social Futures in Broken Hill and is a Local Area Coordinator for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. In her role she helps people with disabilities and their families to access the supports and therapies they need in order to live their best life.

“Angela! She’s fantastic!” Jack’s mum, Melanie, exclaims. “She really helped us with this Eyegaze technology – she was really on the ball.”

An Eyegaze is a computer with a special camera which tracks a person’s eye movements. This then moves a mouse on a computer screen, laptop or speech-generating device. It can be used to play games, to access the internet, to operate a TV, telephone or music, and importantly, to communicate.


“Now he’s able to tell us things instead of us ruling his life,” Melanie says. “He can tell us when he’s not feeling well, it’s just amazing – he’s over the moon.


“Before we would need to clean up after him, but now he can tell us if he needs help to go to the toilet. It’s amazing. He goes to school and he’s able to tell them what he wants – it’s made life so much easier. Now he is able to tell us, now he is doing the prompting.” Finally, Jack has greater choice and control. And that is what the NDIS is all about.


“Before the Eyegaze (Jack) used a PODD communication book for many years, which has the same symbols as the Eyegaze,” Melanie says.“He would look at a sentence, for example, ‘I want’. “But by the time I flicked through all these pages to work out what it was he wanted, he wasn’t looking anymore, he just can’t concentrate for that long.Whereas the Eyegaze is pretty instant, it turns a page in 1.4 seconds.”


Melanie says she has not had an issue with the NDIS at all. “It’s been brilliant. Even with his therapies and things,it’s been fantastic,” she says.“He’s getting weekly therapies – physio and occupational therapy – and a speech therapist comes up from Adelaide to visit the school every few months.“A few weeks before our first plan was due to expire, we had a meeting with Ange and we were able to go through what Jack was like with his respite and activities, what was working for him and what wasn’t.
“Ange was able to gather quotes and things and work out what we really needed so when the new plan rolled in, it was seamless. No hiccups, no waiting. She made it easy for us, explaining things – she went through everything.”


Social Futures’ Local Area Coordination program assists people with disability to access the NDIS program, and to have greater choice and control over their lives.To find your nearest Social Futures office or to speak to someone about our LAC services, call 1800 522 679.

“Ange was able to gather quotes and things and work out what we really needed so when the new plan rolled in, it was seamless. No hiccups, no waiting. She made it easy for us, explaining things – she went through everything.”

 

Melanie

Jack's mum

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more
Elise moves into a home of her own

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance.

Elise has finally had the birthday party she’s dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home.

The sociable 34-year-old has lived with her parents all her life but, according to her mother Vicki, had “clearly” reached the point where she was seeing too much of mum and dad.

Elise has severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a mild intellectual disability and is non-verbal but can communicate her needs to those who know her well.

“We bought the block of land a while back with this in mind and hired the architect three years ago, about the same time Elise joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Vicki said.

“It’s taken a while but we wanted to be sure everything was just right, which it now is – the builder has done a really good job.”

Elise moved in at the beginning of August but Vicki had to find and train up a team of eight support workers who will be on hand to provide one-on-one care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in rotating shifts.

“She just loves her new place, she’s more mellow since she’s moved in,” Vicki said.

“Elise enjoys being out and about and likes company, especially when people are having fun. Now she’ll have the extra joy of having her friends over to her own home and having fun there.”

Vicki says she and her husband have built two houses on the block, one for Elise “and one for us to move into when we’re ready to properly retire.”

Elise’s home has three bedrooms and is entirely flat, removing the need for ramps, and also features wide doorways, wide hallways, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, an accessible bathroom and a large open lounge/kitchen/dining area.

Her NDIS funding has paid for occupational therapy assessments, builder consultations, the installation of an overhead hoist between her bedroom and bathroom, plus key items such as a new bed and shower trolley.

Leftover track from Elise’s bedroom hoist installation has also been routed through to the lounge room so she can have ‘floor time’ there.

“One of the two extra bedrooms will be used by the support workers who stay over while the other will be their office to do reports and other paperwork,” Vicki said.

Elise’s new home is much closer to town, putting her within easy reach of the central business district.

She also has her own modified car that her support workers use to take her to various activities, including her day program.

“Elise spends five days a week with disability service provider Aruma – three days a week she’s out doing various activities with one-on-one support, and two days a week she participates in group activities,” Vicki said.

“She’s one of eight who have been together in that group for 15 years since they left school, and they’re good friends.”

For Vicki and her husband Phillip, Elise’s move into her own place marks the start of a new phase in their lives.

“I have a plan to set up a circle of support for Elise that will take over my role,” she said.

“It will have my two older daughters on it along with other key people, maybe six in total, and between them they’ll take charge of things like making sure her car is registered, that her house gets painted, that doctor’s appointments are made, that things get done when needed.”

Elise’s most recent NDIS plan funded a Support Coordinator for the first time, which has proved invaluable given the circumstances of Elise’s move against the background of the COVID lockdown.

Vicki also receives support from Elise’s Local Area Coordinator Belinda Separovic, who works for NDIS partner Social Futures.

Vicki chuckles wryly that Elise’s place will “probably become party central” once her routine is worked out.

“They’ll be able to have barbies, visit clubs, watch the footy, go to the movies, have charades nights, all the sorts of things that adults do socially which she hasn’t been able to do much of until now because she’s been stuck at home with us – and to be honest that’s boring for her,” Vicky said.

“Her comprehension is pretty good and over recent times she’s learnt to express herself better, so with all the support she’s got now she’ll be able to be a lot more independent.

“The support arrangements we’ve put in place will really allow her to live her own life for the first time – she’ll be able to get up when she wants, do what she wants during the day and go to bed when she wants, just like anyone else in the community.”

“The support arrangements we’ve put in place will really allow her to live her own life for the first time – she’ll be able to get up when she wants, do what she wants during the day and go to bed when she wants, just like anyone else in the community.”

 

Vicki

Elise's mum

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Green shoots for Michael as the drought breaks

The recent drought-breaking rain across central New South Wales has brought smiles at long last to the faces of long-suffering landholders and residents, among them Michael Beh. “One of my hobbies is photography and since I started getting support from the National...

read more

Chesney flies the coop

For parents, Ross and Sandy Bailey the NDIS provided great relief when their 19-year-old son, Chesney had his first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan approved four years ago. Chesney, who grew up 50 kilometres outside of Forbes on his parent’s farm, has...

read more

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.