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Disability and Youth Services
Mark* is currently a CareChoice client with schizophrenia and a mild intellectual disability. Now in his 40’s, he had lived with his family into his teens. Over time he experienced declining mental health and increasing behaviors of concern that his family found difficult to manage.
When Mark was introduced to CareChoice in 2016, both his parents were deceased. He had lived in a range of residential accommodation settings for over a decade. He attended a day program several times a week and still had contact with one of his siblings (but only for special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays). His other sibling had not seen him for a number of years.
Mark’s residential history includes significant amounts of isolation and separation from other people due to his aggression. His last accommodation was temporary respite while a suitable alternative was sought that could support his behaviours and mental health issues. However, Mark had been there for almost a year. His excessive isolation had impacted his mental health, and increasing behaviours of concern were making it difficult for his sister to maintain contact.
When CareChoice commenced Mark’s supports a key focus was addressing his goals for independent living. As and NDIS support provider, this meant working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to help him move into his own accommodation.
The transition was remarkable for Mark and meant he could finally participate in activities others take for granted, like decorating and cleaning his own home for the first time.
Another focus for CareChoice was Mark’s physical health. When he was younger he had been involved in disability sporting activities. However, significant periods of isolation and inactivity had affected his overall fitness.
The CareChoice client services team worked to gain approval to buy a tandem bike so that support workers could ride with him. Bike riding was an activity he loved and this helped him regain his balance and fitness. CareChoice also supported Mark to purchase a Wii Fit and selected a range of special games he could play with support workers to improve his hand-eye coordination.
Mark’s progress has been remarkable and he now attends a gym across the road from his home each week. Mark has even purchased his own car (that support workers drive).
CareChoice continues to work closely with Mark and his stakeholders to ensure he will experience further independence and a sense of purpose. The journey so far has given him a sense of pride and enabled him to experience adulthood.
Mark’s Client Services Manager reports that his mental health and wellbeing is vastly improved and Mark is looking forward to learning how to pay his own bills, work part-time, and go camping with the help of his support workers.
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