Kevin has faced many challenges in his 46 years. Diagnosed with Chronic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 3, and later Crohnâ€™s Disease, he stopped walking when he was just 9. An attempt to fit him with artificial hips and legs in his teens did not go to plan and he has been wheelchair bound ever since.
Kevinâ€™s parents looked after and modified their house to have wheelchair ramps and an accessible bathroom. They received help from the local council three days per week for 18 years, but by the time Kevin was in his 30s they were getting older and decided they needed extra professional assistance.
They sought help from MOIRA Disability and Youth Services Centre and started to receive help with Kevinâ€™s care two mornings per week. Kevinâ€™s case manager at the Centre, Simone, continued to look for an additional carer. However the agency tasked to find Kevin a support worker kept sending men despite Kevinâ€™s requests for a young, bubbly, female carer. Choice of support worker was important to Kevin and we wanted someone chatty who would also be good company while they were around.
Eventually, Simone suggested they try CareChoice as she had heard that they go out of their way to fit the carer to the client. Finally Kevin was able to have some choice of the carers who would work with him and help him increase his independence.
Kevinâ€™s CareChoice carers now come every morning. They help him with personal services, breakfast and lunch, toileting, showering and grocery shopping.
When he was first diagnosed with Crohnâ€™s disease, Kevin didnâ€™t know when he would need to go to the toilet. However, since working with CareChoice he has increased confidence to go out with a carer and do extra things when his funding allows. This extra freedom is invaluable.
What Kevin values the most about his CareChoice carers:
- The carers are reliable! If his main carer is unable to cover a shift, CareChoice will make sure there is a suitable replacement to help.
- The help he receives gives him the freedom to continue to live at home with his family rather than having to move into a care facility.
- He is able to maintain his independence and freedom, and is able to make his own choices.
- His carers have a wonderful attitude and outlook on life. They donâ€™t whine about their day; theyâ€™re full of life and love a chat. This positivity is uplifting and leaves him feeling great at the end of the day.
- He had developed a genuine, friendly relationship with his carers that makes the personal care experience less confronting.
CareChoice really do listen, and Kevin feels empowered when he is able to be honest and ask for what he wants. Having a choice is important to him.